Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Trump extracts pledge from Boeing on Air Force One costs
At Reuters by Melissa Fares --
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump extracted a promise from Boeing Co's chief executive on Wednesday that the cost of replacing Air Force One would not exceed $4 billion, his latest move to use the bully pulpit to pressure companies to help advance his economic agenda.
Trump met with Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing and Marillyn Hewson, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp - two defense companies he has made an example of since his Nov. 8 election, sending defense shares tumbling with his complaints about projects he said are too expensive.
He paraded the two CEOs in front of the cameras at the ornate front door of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending Christmas.
"Trying to get the costs down, costs. Primarily the (Lockheed Martin) F-35, we're trying to get the cost down. It's a program that's very, very expensive," Trump told reporters after meeting with the CEOs and a dozen Pentagon officials involved with defense acquisition programs who he said were "good negotiators."
Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, has vowed to address government procurement costs as part of his industrial policy, which also includes taking a hard line on Chinese trade practices and renegotiating multilateral trade deals.
Also on Wednesday, Trump named economist Peter Navarro, an economist who has urged a hard line on China, to head up his White House team on industrial policy.