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Boeing CEO regrets the deal he made with Trump on Air Force One

Boeing shouldn't have taken up former President Donald Trump's demand to lowball its pricing on the next Air Force One fleet, the planemaker's top boss said. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Boeing shouldn't have taken up former President Donald Trump's demand to lowball its pricing on the next Air Force One fleet, the planemaker's top boss said. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Published Apr 28, 2022

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Boeing Co. shouldn't have taken up former President Donald Trump's demand to lowball its pricing on the next Air Force One fleet, the planemaker's top boss said.

"Air Force One, I'm just going to call a very unique moment, a very unique negotiation," Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said on a call to discuss quarterly earnings. The deal struck with the administration involved "a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn't have taken."

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Cost overruns on the presidential aircraft fleet and other fixed-price contracts resulted in Boeing's defense business taking a $1.3 billion accounting loss in the first quarter. Calhoun said that Boeing has abandoned its former strategy of undercutting competitors to gain defense franchises.

Trump crowed about the hard bargain he'd driven when the Pentagon acquired two never-delivered 747-8 aircraft originally intended for a defunct Russian customer. Retrofitting already built airplanes with missile defense systems, nuclear-hardened communications and bespoke cabins has proved challenging for Boeing.

Work dragged behind schedule as Boeing battled a prime contractor in court. It has also contended with shortages of workers with security clearances during recent Covid waves, Calhoun said Wednesday.

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Boeing's tone has shifted from 2018, when it tweeted that Trump "negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people."

WASHINGTON POST

Related Topics:

Donald Trump

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