OTTAWA -- The U.S. State Department has told Congress that it has no concerns about the potential sale of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to Canada, with a price tag estimated at US$5.23 billion.

The figure includes weapons, spare parts, training, software and other costs associated with putting the jets into service, but does not appear to include long-term maintenance and support.

The State Department says selling the Super Hornets to Canada would contribute to the U.S. government's foreign policy and national security objectives.

It also says the sale would improve Canada's ability to meet current and future threats and that the Canadian military would have no problems absorbing the new aircraft.

Congress now has a chance to review the potential sale.

But the Canadian government's plan to buy the jets has been thrown into limbo because of a bitter trade dispute between Boeing, the U.S. aerospace giant that makes the Super Hornets, and Montreal-based Bombardier.