Trump Strikes Again, Boeing Drops Price for Air Force One
President-elect cements a deal to save taxpayers millions, before taking office
President-Elect Donald Trump has struck again, this time with Boeing Corp.
Boeing had come under Trump’s scrutiny when he discovered two Air Force One jets, planned for unveiling around 2023, would exceed a $4 billion price tag.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion.”
But after meeting with Trump, the Boeing CEO said he would bring the jets in for well under the $4 billion price tag.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” said Dennis Muilenburg, after the meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
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Trump kicked the issue off in the early morning of Dec. 6, when he tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”
Boeing’s stocks reeled from the criticism, and taxpayers were shocked to learn two 747 jets would cost about $2 billion each. A basic cost estimate for a 747 with all the security and communication technologies necessary for a president would run around $380 million, according to PolitiFact.
Boeing has not started the build of the planes yet, according to Muilenburg.
Trump’s tweet, despite its cost-savings aim for taxpayers, was greeted with criticism from some in the media. Some media types noted how Trump can cause stocks to drop with a mere critical tweet.
And PolitiFact gave Trump a “half-truth” rating, despite admitting Trump’s $4 billion estimate “is in the ballpark.”
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Still, Trump appears to once again have saved taxpayers some money, not long after claiming he saved factory jobs in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Now Trump has brought his “art of the deal” to cutting costs in the government.
Next up, apparently, will be Lockheed Martin. The Maryland aerospace company has been designing the state-of-the-art F-35 fighter, but Trump has been wary of the costs.
The stealth fighter will be able to land on carriers and strike with precision, but Trump has expressed discomfort with the price tag.
By the Air Force’s own admission, the F-35 has had a six-year delay with a $13.5 billion overrun.
But the plane’s deliveries have started, and one Air Force general said the program’s problems are in the past.
But now it’s up to Trump to perhaps see what parts of the deal he can remake to save taxpayers some more money.