I guess the old Americans can still design and build a world beating product.
Over the longer term, virtually every military power that might one day need to contemplate coalition warfare with America will want to take a look, because (1) no other tactical aircraft will be as survivable, (2) no other tactical aircraft will be as versatile, (3) no other tactical aircraft will be as cost-effective, and (4) no other tactical aircraft will mesh as seamlessly with U.S. air power.
After 9,000 flight tests, F-35 has demonstrated all of the performance features expected of it, including the ability to avoid being tracked by Chinese and Russian air defenses.
In addition, the price has fallen to a level where the most common variant will soon cost no more than the latest F-16 -- for a great deal more capability. For instance, the electronic warfare suite on F-35 will generate ten times more radiated power than previous fighters, meaning it will not need a jamming aircraft flying escort in order to safely penetrate hostile air space. Every military power within a thousand miles of Russia or China is likely to want that, because when combined with low observables ("stealth") it makes F-35 unstoppable.
What could be a more credible deterrent than a supersonic (1,200 mph) strike aircraft that can't be tracked by radar and yet can strike ground targets with pinpoint accuracy and see air targets hundreds of miles away? As if all that were not enough, neither Russia nor China are likely to have anything comparable until the 2030s -- if then. Bottom line: F-35 is setting the global standard for tactical air power through mid-century, and overseas sales of the plane will deliver a powerful boost to America's trade balance.