Trump’s 4th Of July Celebration Shows Off U.S. Aerospace, Defense Manufacturing
President Donald Trump knows how to put on a show, and this Independence Day, he will personally commandeer traditional festivities in Washington, D.C. for his own grand display. A Trump speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial will accompany fireworks, concerts, and parades across the D.C. area. But the celebration, dubbed “Salute to America,” will also feature a significant amount of defense and aerospace hardware manufactured in the USA.
To begin with, Trump has scheduled an air show to precede D.C.’s massive fireworks presentation. Marine One, the president’s helicopter, and the Blue Angels, the famous blue-and-yellow Navy FA-18s, will join the event. The celebration should also include just the second Washington flyover of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter. Its first flyover occurred last month, to mark a meeting between Trump and his Polish counterpart, President Andrzej Duda. CNN writes that B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters will fly around the National Mall as well.
Washington Fourth of July-goers will also witness a flyover of one of the two Boeing planes that serve as Air Force One.
The president is also planning to have M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles on the National Mall for the event, according to The Washington Post. The armored fighting vehicles would park in front of the Lincoln Memorial for Trump’s speech in the evening, but their weight will prevent them from parading around the city as the president had previously hoped. Reports from CNN indicate that Trump has already placed several Abrams and Bradleys in Washington, D.C. in preparation for "Salute to America."
Trump’s show is gearing up to be a fantastic display of U.S. defense capabilities, with the participation of some of the best weapons systems the world has ever seen. From the M1 Abrams, the leading tank of the United States and its allies, to the F-35, which will dominate skies around the globe for decades to come, the spectacle will be an affirmation of American strength.
It will not just be a show of military might, however. The presence of these American-made defense machines will also serve as a reminder of the president’s commitment to bring manufacturing jobs back to U.S. shores. All of the products that will be exhibited are made in the United States. Every single tank, every single jet, and every single vehicle will have been crafted by American hands using American metals.
The president knows that the defense industrial base is vital to the U.S. heartland. That’s why Trump saved the General Dynamics-run Abrams tank plant in Lima, Ohio, resurrecting the midwestern jobs oasis after the Obama administration nearly shuttered its assembly lines. The Trump years have also been kind to the BAE Systems industrial site in York, Pennsylvania that produces the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. After the Obama administration cut work at the York plant for years, new contracts and defense business have brought jobs back to the facility. F-35 manufacturing, a national endeavor, is experiencing a boom as well, with export opportunities rising as the president seeks to cut the U.S. trade deficit.
Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no president has dedicated as much attention to the status of the American industrial base as Donald Trump. With programs including the New Deal, Cash-and-Carry, Destroyers-for-Bases, and Lend-Lease, Roosevelt ensured that U.S. industry was prepared to match the threats from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. After years of fleeing jobs and emptying factories, Trump’s plan to resuscitate the manufacturing sector resembles FDR’s ambitious efforts of the 1930s and 40s. By confronting the predatory trade behavior of countries like China, upping defense expenditures, slashing regulations, and cutting tax burdens, his presidency has restored America’s industrial backbone. It’s no wonder that for nine straight quarters, U.S. producers have expressed record levels of optimism in the National Association of Manufacturers’ regular survey.
John Cicchitti is a Program Manager at the Lexington Institute.