The Trump administration’s investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election has sparked a renewed debate over the viability of the U.S. construction supply industry, and whether it is still viable in a world where the Trump administration is pushing to reduce the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The investigation is also raising new questions about whether companies are following the proper legal procedures to secure their supply contracts, including when to file for bankruptcy and when to seek permission to sell off assets, such as land.
At a news conference Thursday in Washington, D.C., President Trump’s special counsel, Robert Mueller, announced a review into the procurement process by contractors of construction equipment.
In addition to an examination of the Office of Government Ethics, Mueller said his team will look at the procurement practices of state, local and private entities that have contracts with the Department of Defense.
“We will also examine the procurement processes and policies of those contracting offices to ensure that they meet federal standards and are in compliance with all applicable law,” Mueller said.
Mueller said his probe will look into whether the contractors were acting in good faith.
“I believe they were,” he said, adding that “there is a good case that those who are in that business are acting in a manner that is not in the best interest of the country and the military.”
Trump, who is considering a bid for the presidency in 2020, is scheduled to visit Lockheed Martin Corp. in March to meet with the defense contractor’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, and to talk about future military cooperation with the United States.
The administration is also examining whether private companies can make more profit off the sale of military equipment, as Trump has proposed, as part of his effort to reduce military spending.
That’s something he has pushed for since his election, arguing that he would “make a lot more money” by making the military leaner and more efficient.
Lockheed Martin is the second-largest contractor for the U .
S. military after Boeing Co., which makes some of the most powerful aircraft in the world.
The Trump administration has also called for the Federal Aviation Administration to speed up the process of awarding defense contracts, which would mean more jobs and better pay for workers.
Lockheed and Boeing are the largest contractors for the FAA, which handles almost all U.M.B.I. and Coast Guard work.
Lockheed said Thursday it expects to benefit from the Trump-Mueller investigation and would cooperate with Mueller’s team.
The Lockheed Martin announcement came after the Pentagon said it would be looking into the possibility that the company’s bid for a $6.7 billion contract for a new Navy nuclear submarine would be blocked if it failed to get the necessary approval from the Pentagon.
Lockheed’s bid was for a nuclear-powered submarine, which was the Navy’s primary nuclear-capable submarine, but it was denied in July 2016 by the Pentagon because the Navy was in the process on building a new submarine.
The Navy and the defense industry have been negotiating a deal to build a nuclear submarine since 2015.
In January, the Defense Department’s inspector general recommended that the Defense Acquisition University, a nonprofit think tank, be barred from bidding on a contract to design a new nuclear-armed submarine.
Lockheed also said it was considering an option to end its contract with the Navy after 2019, if that would help the Pentagon achieve its goal of a submarine that could carry nuclear warheads and not require a submarine to be built for nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon said the decision was made after it learned of the inspector general’s findings and a series of other issues raised by the auditor general.
The Pentagon has also said that Lockheed has not been able to get a deal on a new Boeing 737 aircraft to replace the 747, which it bought in 2009.
Lockheed says Boeing’s 747 would have been a more cost-effective plane for the Navy, which is facing its most serious budget crisis in decades.
In its latest quarterly financial report, Lockheed said its business has been growing at a “record pace.”
Lockheed said in an earnings call with analysts that the 737 would have made the Navy “more competitive in its efforts to meet critical future defense needs.”
The Pentagon’s inspector-general said it found evidence that the Pentagon failed to follow “all applicable law” in awarding a contract for Boeing’s 737 jets to build the next-generation Navy nuclear-launched ballistic missile submarine.
In a statement Thursday, Lockheed Martin said it is “deeply disappointed” with the inspector-General’s report and that the department is “currently evaluating our options for an appropriate response to the Inspector General’s recommendations.”
Boeing said in a statement that it has not received the report, which also said the report “appears to be inconsistent with Boeing’s position that it would not have made a profit on the contract, if it had been awarded to Boeing.”
A Boeing spokesman said the company is “working closely with the government and is committed to doing everything in our power to