Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and other business executives met with President Trump at the White House today to discuss ways to increase manufacturing in the United States.
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet today with President Trump and industry leaders to discuss ways we can grow manufacturing jobs in the United States,” Hewson said in a statement. “I was encouraged by the president’s commitment to reduce barriers to job creation, including targeted regulatory reform and long term budget planning.”
Trump has signaled that he plans to use the defense industrial base to boost manufacturing jobs.
Other executives meeting with Trump today include Mark Fields of Ford Motor Co.; Michael Dell of Dell Technologies; Jeff Fettig of Whirlpool; Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson; Klaus Kleinfeld of Arconic; Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical; Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel; Elon Musk of SpaceX; Kevin Plank of Under Armour; Mark Sutton of International Paper; and Wendell Weeks of Corning.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the group would reconvene in a month and meet on a quarterly basis.
Hewson said Lockheed supported Trump's stated plan to end the spending caps mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act “so that our military can invest in the equipment and technology they need to defend our nation and protect our interests. Ending these budget restrictions will allow industry to plan, invest and hire for the long term.”
It marks the third time Hewson has met with Trump since he was elected. Trump first met with Hewson Dec. 22 to discuss the F-35, which he has criticized on Twitter and in speeches for being “out of control” and too costly.
After his first meeting with Hewson, Trump announced plans to shakeup the program via Twitter: "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!"
On Jan. 13, the second time Hewson met with Trump, she issued a statement announcing that Lockheed planned to add 1,800 employees in Fort Worth, TX, and cut the cost of the program. However, the company won't confirm whether or not those plans have actually been in the works for months.