October 19, 2018 / 8:15 PM / a month ago

Trump to meet heads of Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop at Arizona air base

U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters outside a hangar at Missoula International Airport in Missoula, Montana, U.S. October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet the chief executives of the biggest U.S. defense companies at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on Friday to discuss how they can source more parts and materials domestically, people familiar with the meeting said on Friday.

This is the second presidential meeting in as many weeks for executives from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Boeing Co (BA.N), Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) to discuss their supply chains, also referred to as their industrial base.

During the roll out of the Defense Industrial Base Review on Oct. 5, executives from the four defense firms were invited to the Oval office for a meeting that turned into a 90 minute discussion with Trump, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

The Pentagon-led review ordered by Trump identified hundreds of instances where the U.S. military depends on foreign countries, especially China, for critical materials.

The 150-page review included a series of recommendations to strengthen American industry.

Friday’s meeting in Arizona will include executives from BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L), which makes howitzers for the Army, as well as industrial giant Honeywell International Inc (HON.N).

An administration source said weapons sales to Saudi Arabia were not on the official agenda for the Friday meeting, but did not rule out the issue could be raised.

Major U.S. defense contractors have expressed concern to the Trump administration that lawmakers angered by the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey will block further arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro, who has been working to shore up the defense manufacturing base, Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey were also expected to be at the meeting.

Reporting by Mike Stone; additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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