Last week Donald Trump attacked Boeing, saying in a tweet that costs are “out of control” for new Air Force Ones planes and that the federal government should cancel the order. On Monday Trump targeted the world’s largest defense contractor Lockheed Martin, saying in a tweet that Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program was too expensive, which led the company’s stock to drop almost $4bn.
Shares of other prominent defense contractors, including General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, also fell down. Many analysts say that Trump may be sending a broader message to the defense industry that its profit margins will be slashed.
In their joint statement, the most prominent defense contractors have now responded by saying that it would be completely unpatriotic and un-American to stop providing them with windfall profits:
“For many decades our great industry has worked tirelessly to make this nation and the entire world a safer and more heavily-armed place.
Both at home and abroad we have never hesitated to nudge civilian and military leaders to start military interventions and wars when they might have been unwilling to do so because of such feeble excuses as unwillingness to sacrifice innocent lives.
For our tireless efforts we have asked nothing in return except ensuring the lavish payoffs with taxpayer money to our industry. What a dangerous precedent it would set now if our industry is denied the rightfully hoped windfall profits and the treasure trove of taxpayer dollars.”
(Image credit: Glenn Fawcett/Wikimedia Commons)