Questions about trade tariffs, the Trump Administration’s scaled-back LCS request, and those all-important future Naval ship contracts were the backdrop to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s visit to Fincantieri Marinette Marine Thursday. This was the Secretary’s first trip to the local shipyard and he took the opportunity to meet with officials from both Lockheed Martin and F-M-M and tour the future USS WICHITA, which is slated for delivery to the Navy later this year. In their defense spending bill passed Thursday, the US House is seeking the construction of three LCSs for FY-19, but the White House has insisted on just one. Secretary Spencer says regardless of the outcome, he expects the Marinette shipbuilding workforce to remain strong.
While he says construction of LCSs will remain within the US, Secretary Spencer did suggest trade tariffs like the 25% tax on imported steel, could impact the overall cost of the ships.
Secretary Spencer says he was impressed by what he saw during his time at the local shipyard.
Two of the five final frigate designs being considered by the Navy for their new 20-ship contract would be built locally at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. That contract is expected to be awarded in 2020.