President Donald J. Trump visited Fincantieri Marinette Marine Thursday following the Wisconsin shipyard’s recent contract award to design and build the first-in-class FFG(X) guided-missile frigate for the U.S. Navy.
The first U.S. president to visit the Marinette Marine shipyard, Trump toured the facilities where Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships are currently and met with several Marinette Marine employees before offering remarks to a group of more than 700 employees, partners and local guests.
“We are honored to have the President here in Marinette,” said Dario Deste, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “It means so much to the men and women who put their hearts and souls into building tremendous warships for this country.”
In late April, Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the frigate contract worth $5.5 billion, if all options are exercised by the Navy. The initial contract of $795 million is for the detailed design and construction of the first guided-missile frigate, with options for nine additional ships.
Global shipbuilding giant Fincantieri bought Marinette Marine in 2009 and invested $180 million in it over the next decade. Now they are poised to invest an additional $200 million into infrastructure and improvements to accommodate work on larger ships.
“We are grateful of the President, Congress, and the Navy for their continued faith and confidence in our ability to give them the world’s greatest frigate,” said Deste.
Ahead of Trump’s shipyard visit, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign released a statement criticizing the trip.
“Today, Donald Trump is in Marinette to take credit for Obama-Biden Administration-fueled successes in an attempt to paper over the fact that Wisconsin has been bleeding blue-collar manufacturing jobs over the past few weeks. Instead of offering real relief to working families, he’s trying to claim credit for progress in Marinette he did not build,” the statement said, in part.
“With the help of leaders like Tammy Baldwin, the Obama-Biden Administration invested in shipbuilding in Marinette and fostered good-paying jobs across the Fox Valley to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the better part of a decade.”