An F-35 jet arrives at it new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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After meeting with President-elect Donald Trump Friday morning, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson announced a plan to hire an additional 1,800 workers at their plant, as well as to lower the cost of the controversial F-35 Lightning II.
Lockheed's decision comes after Trump harshly and publicly criticized the company on Twitter last month for its "out of control" costs.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
"I certainly share his views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform, and we have to get it at the lowest possible price," Hewson told reporters on Friday.
“In fact, we are going to increase our jobs in Fort Worth by 1,800 jobs and when you think about the supply chain across 45 states in the U.S. it’s going to be thousands and thousands of jobs,” Hewson added. “And I also had the opportunity to give him some ideas on things we think we can do to continue to drive the cost down on the F-35 program, so it was a great meeting.”
Hewson promised to create "thousands and thousands" of new jobs across the 45 states in Lockheed Martin's supply chain. The company's stock shares were up one percent after she spoke with reporters Friday, Reuters reported.
"I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell him that we are close to a deal that will bring the cost down significantly from the previous lot of aircraft to the next lot of aircraft and moreover it’s going to bring a lot of jobs to the United States,” Hewson said.
Trump has been extremely vocal in his criticism of companies he says are taking manufacturing jobs out of the country, publicly mentioning his idea of creating a "border tax" for companies opening or expanding locations overseas. Since his election, Lockheed Martin joins Carrier and Ford as companies that have announced plans to keep more jobs in the United States.
Trump has experienced somewhat less success with other companies such as Toyota, who declined to alter production plans in response to hostile tweets from Trump. The president of Toyota reportedly met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington, D.C. yesterday, but Toyota Akio Toyoda emerged from the meeting and announced no changes in plans for the auto giant, and added that he did not have plans to meet with President-elect Trump.
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Sara Gonzales is the host of “The News & Why It Matters.”