Enter President Trump, with a far different view of the role of a strong military in both defending our homeland and revitalizing our manufacturing base. As part of his significantly increased defense budgets for 2019 and 2020, the president has requested an additional $11 billion to buy combat vehicles like the Abrams, as well as the Stryker combat vehicle, also manufactured in Lima.
Even better, spending that $11 billion could actually mean saving money in the long run. By expanding production in Lima, by accelerating the modernization of the Abrams and other armored vehicles and by increasing other economies of scale, the Defense Department will achieve significant cost reductions: Unit costs for the Abrams are expected to drop by more than 10 percent.
In terms of economic security, the Trump defense budget is helping to create good manufacturing jobs at good wages, including in communities like Lima that have fallen behind economically. The revitalized Lima plant will directly employ a little more than 1,000 employees. And plants like the one in Lima are drivers for thousands of more jobs in the supply chain across the country.