PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke out Tuesday over the federal government’s decision to end a multibillion contract with Eastern Shipbuilding.
The Panama City-based company was building ships for the Coast Guard as part of a multi-year contract. Even though the ships got strong reviews from the Coast Guard, Eastern Shipbuilding lost out on a second contract to build the next 11 offshore patrol cutters.
“Despite @EasternShip‘s success in the OPC program, Biden’s DHS gave a foreign-owned entity – one that is under federal investigation & has never built or tested a steel ship – its largest contract ever,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “Biden should reconsider this misguided decision & stand up for jobs in NW FL.”
Eastern Shipbuilding President Joey D’Isernia discussed the change last week.
“I believe they made a mistake,” D’Isernia said. “We’re still partners, we are still going to work together to build out these four vessels. But sometimes partners make mistakes.”
He said the 11 additional cutters would have led to a decade worth of business for Eastern Shipbuilding. Congressman Neal Dunn, (R-Panama City), also weighed in on the issue last week.
“We think that the Coast Guard accepted an unrealistic bid,” Congressman Dunn said. “And we’re going to be talking to them and asking them some hard questions about how they arrived at this particular answer for now. And everything is still in play.”