- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
December 05, 2007The research and development tax credit is vital to ensuring the strength of our nation's defense industrial base and must be extended, preferably permanently, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said Thursday. The credit, which is set to expire at the end of this year, is vital to encouraging innovation in the aerospace and defense industry, Blakey said. "Technological advances are the cornerstone of our industry, affecting national security, air travel and space exploration," Blakey said. "Without the R&D tax credit, we risk losing our international edge in these categories." The aerospace and defense industry provides 642,000 high-paying jobs across the nation and accounts for a $57 billion positive foreign trade balance. Blakey urged Congress to extend and strengthen the credit before adjourning for the year. While the credit is important to virtually all 276 members of AIA, it is especially vital to the small- and medium-sized companies that supply components to the large corporations that make platforms like airplanes and missiles. Those smaller companies, many times run by families, don't have the large budgets of big corporations to fund independent research and development. So the credit is often the main vehicle they have to make technological progress, Blakey said. AIA is a member of the R&D Tax Credit Coalition. Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.