Boeing says move to D.C. is not due to recent attacks from Trump

Days after President-elect Donald Trump lambasted Boeing and called for the U.S. government to cancel a contract with the aerospace giant, the company on Monday approved a decision to move its defense unit headquarters from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., in an effort to boost relations with -- and proximity to -- government officials.

The move had been in the works for months, DefenseOne reported, and a Boeing spokesman told that Trump’s critical statements played no role in Boeing’s timetable.

“The President-elect’s tweets didn’t influence the decision,” Todd Blecher said in an email. “This is a small manpower move. Initially about a dozen people. Over time that could increase to about 50 people.”


The headquarters move means some local jobs will be lost, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported; however, Boeing also plans to move 500 jobs to St. Louis from California as it continues a consolidation process. Boeing plans to maintain a huge presence – approximately 14,000 people – in its traditional St. Louis home.

Trump name-checked Boeing for the first time on Dec. 6, questioning the ballooning price tag on a new fleet of presidential planes.

“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!” he tweeted.

Trump later repeated his concerns to reporters inside Trump Tower.

“The plane is totally out of control,” Trump said. “It’s going to be over $4 billion for the Air Force One program and I think it’s ridiculous. 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.”

But Trump’s relationship with Boeing was not always so sour.

Trump tweeted in January 2013 that Boeing was a “Great company!” after the business mogul-turned politician bought stock in the corporation. Trump sold that stock in June, a spokesman told reporters last week. Trump’s personal aircraft, often called “Trump Force One,” is a Boeing 757.

Additionally, Trump recently appointed an ex-Boeing chairman to chair a board of executive advisers on economic, regulatory and labor matters.