MEXICO CITY — President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday he will cancel the pending purchase by Mexico’s navy of eight armed Lockheed Martin MH-60R helicopters from the U.S. government.

Lopez Obrador mentioned that he would kill the $1.2 billion deal as an example of extensive cost-cutting measures that his government will undertake. “We can’t make that expense,” he at a news conference.

In April, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of the helicopters, saying it would improve the security of a strategic regional partner. In its statement then, it said the helicopters would help Mexico fight criminal organizations.

When the deal went public, Lopez Obrador asked President Enrique Pena Nieto to cancel it. The leftist Lopez Obrador won Mexico’s July 1 election in a landslide in his third bid for the presidency and will take office Dec. 1.


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