U.S. Navy Secretary Says Relations With Contractors Must Improve

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said he’s pushing service officials to improve on sometimes “antagonistic” dealings with defense contractors.

“We’ve changed the dialog with our suppliers,” Spencer told reporters Tuesday in a session reviewing his initiatives. Relations between the Navy and defense industry in some cases “certainly were not the healthiest they could be,” he said.

Spencer said that “doesn’t mean the Treasury doors” are “wide open -- not in the least’,” but companies need to know that “I am a responsible buyer” who understands “they need to make a profit.”

“I was in business. I get it,” said Spencer, the former vice chairman of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. “You can’t just say ‘I’m going to buy.’ You have sit down with them and show them what you have for resources and what your plans are to deploy those resources.”

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are among the Navy’s biggest prime contractors.

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