Boeing Promises Trump It Will Cut Air Force One Costs

He met with aerospace chiefs at Florida estate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2016 1:19 AM CST
Boeing Promises to Cut Air Force One Costs
Military personnel salute as Air Force One, with President Obama aboard, departs at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

After meeting with the CEOs of Boeing and Lockheed Martin on Wednesday, Donald Trump secured one promise: His successor will fly in a cheaper plane. In what Reuters calls the president-elect's "latest move to use the bully pulpit to pressure companies to help advance his economic agenda," Trump secured a promise from Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg that the Air Force One replacement program will cost less than $4 billion. Earlier this month, Trump publicly complained about the estimated cost of the project to replace the presidential planes, tweeting "Cancel order!" Muilenburg told reporters at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach that he had given Trump a "personal commitment" to control the cost of the planes, which are not expected to be ready before 2024.

Trump also met with Lockheed Martin chief Marillyn Hewson on Wednesday. He told reporters he had been trying to reduce the "very, very expensive" estimated cost of the F-35 fighter jet program, the New York Times reports. Asked if he had made any progress getting the price down from an estimated $400 billion for 2,400 jets, he said the "dance" was just beginning, adding: "We're going to get the costs down and we're going to get it done beautifully." Both CEOs said the meetings had been very productive, while Trump praised the Pentagon officials who were present. "I met some really great Air Force GENERALS and Navy ADMIRALS today, talking about airplane capability and pricing," he tweeted. "Very impressive people!" (More Donald Trump stories.)

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