Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he wants to cancel the Pentagon’s order with Boeing for a new $4 billion Air Force One, as the president-elect keeps playing hardball with American businesses.
Shares of Boeing stock dropped in premarket trading after the tweet by more than 1 percent, but the price began climbing back after the opening bell.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Later, Mr. Trump said the spending on the new airplane was “totally out of control.”
“It’s going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program, and I think it’s ridiculous,” he told reporters in a rare appearance in the lobby of Trump Tower. “I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”
Boeing released a statement addressing Mr. Trump’s tweet.
“We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serves the unique requirements of the President of the United States. We look forward to working with the US Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer,” the statement said.
The Obama administration has insisted that future presidents will need the new jumbo jet. The Pentagon placed the order with Boeing last year and the plane is not expected to be in use until 2023.
The threat to cancel the order is the latest move by the president-elect signaling a get-tough attitude toward U.S. businesses.
Mr. Trump helped convince Carrier to reverse plans to close its Indiana factory and move to Mexico, saving 1,100 jobs. He also threatened to slap a 35 percent tariff on products from U.S. companies that move abroad.