U.S. president-elect Donald Trump made comments in 2007 that appear to explain how he views efforts to drive down costs of a fighter jet programme he has criticised.
After meeting with the chief executives of Boeing and Lockheed Martin this week, Trump tweeted Thursday that he asked Boeing to price an F-18 Super Hornet “comparable” to Lockheed’s F-35. He said he had done so “based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns” of the Lockheed contract.
Trump’s tweet hit Lockheed’s stock, the second time this month the company’s shares have fallen after Trump’s criticism of the F-35 program. The company previously said it has invested to keep the program’s costs down.
In 2007, Trump described similar negotiating tactics on CNBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” Trump said:
“One thing I always like to do like if I’m selling something or if I’m trying to rent something, I always like to create competition because it makes you feel better. And sometimes it’s even a perceived competition. But the other side should know there’s competition. I just made a deal, a big deal, a big rental deal, and I was able to convince everybody that there was — and there was — but I was able to convince them at a very high level and for a very high rent that there was tremendous competition. That there were other people out there. And I say it ad nauseam – I’ll tell people during the negotiation: ‘You think you’re the only one? I have 10 people that want this deal.” And sometimes it’s so, and sometimes it’s a little bit less than so, but I always create competition because it makes the other side a little bit nervous. And even if — I’ve had my own people come up to me and say ‘Oh, Mr. Trump, you shouldn’t keep telling them that there are other people.’ I said, ‘Do me a favor – let me negotiate. I want to drum them, I want to brainwash them. I want them to think that there is SO much competition.'”
Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.