After meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says he’s making a “personal commitment” to keep the cost of the next two Air Force One jets below $4 billion.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” Muilenburg told reporters on Wednesday.
In addition to the Air Force One debate, Boeing has gotten involved in a tangle over Lockheed Martin’s controversial F-35 fighter jets.
The back-and-forth with Trump began with a tweet on Dec. 6, in which the president-elect threatened to have Boeing’s Air Force One deal canceled because “costs are out of control, more than $4 billion.” Since then, Muilenburg and other executives have smoothed over the dispute. Wednesday’s meeting in Palm Beach appeared to cement the rapprochement.Muilenburg told reporters that he had a “terrific conversation” with Trump. “Got a lot of respect for him. He’s a good man, and he’s doing the right thing,” Muilenburg said.
Concerning the very expensive F-35:
Yet another twist was added to the dance on Thursday, when Trump tweeted that he asked Boeing to provide a price for a comparable F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet:The Art of the Deal. Why couldn't progressives work this hard to lower costs for systems that they claim to hate?
FollowDonald J. Trump
Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!
3:26 PM - 22 Dec 2016
14,06714,067 Retweets 56,00656,006 likes
An hour after Trump’s comment, Boeing tweeted that it was open to discussing the options:
FollowThe Boeing Company
Ready to work with @realDonaldTrump's administration to affordably meet U.S. military requirements.
4:32 PM - 22 Dec 2016
184184 Retweets 312312 likes
Today, Lockheed Martin tweeted that Hewson and Trump had a follow-up conversation about the F-35s, during which the CEO gave her “personal commitment to drive the cost down aggressively.” (Where have we heard that before?)