AIA: Deep Budget Cuts Could Gut NASA, DOD and FAA

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AIA PR — A new report commissioned by AIA demonstrates the irreplaceable impact the aerospace and defense (A/D) industry has on America’s economic and national security. Addressing the current economic crisis, the report emphasizes the industry’s support of more than three million American workers. With federal budget sequestration looming and DOD, FAA and NASA budgets facing severe cuts, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and Aerospace Industries Association have escalated efforts to educate the public and elected officials on the need for alternatives to budget sequestration.
“The data speaks for itself, America’s aerospace and defense industry is a sector that punches far above its weight,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “And it’s not just the numbers, which are impressive by themselves— it’s how this industry makes a difference in the lives of all Americans.”

The aerospace and defense industry booked $324 billion in sales in 2010 in every state of the union. The report by Deloitte details state-by-state A/D industry employment, revenues, taxes paid and more. And, following recent White House efforts to promote increased export opportunities for American business, the report details the industry’s position as the number one contributor to the country’s positive trade balance, at a net $42 billion.

A study conducted by Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University in October, 2011, projects that more than one million American jobs could be lost as a result of defense budget cuts if the sequestration trigger is pulled. Unemployment would go up .6 percent and GDP projected growth would be cut by 25 percent.

“Sequestration threatens to devastate our industry’s contributions to America’s bottom line,” Blakey said. “This report sends the clear reminder that sequestration is a local, community issue, the jobs at stake are not here in Washington, D.C. Over 1 million American jobs and the security of our nation are at stake.

“The American aerospace worker is counting on voters and elected officials to take notice of what sequestration will do to our country,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. “As this new report highlights, sequestration will result in two indisputable outcomes – more unemployment and a country that is less secure.”

“Although the aerospace and defense industry will never stop defending this country, it’s capabilities to do so will surely be reduced if sequestration is not stopped,” said Blakey. “The countdown has begun and it is now up to us to stop the clock.”

The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires Congress to identify one trillion in savings. Failure to do so by the end of the year will result in a $600 billion cut to the defense budget on top of $487 billion in reductions it is already planning. In addition, cuts will impact FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Program and NASA funding to develop a new vehicle to go to the International Space Station.

The complete study, The Aerospace and Defense Industry in the U.S: A financial and economic impact study, is available at http://www.aia-aerospace.org/assets/deloitte_study_2012.pdf