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Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Robert J. Stevens was joined by Senate Aerospace Caucus Co-Chairs Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) at a luncheon examining the current state of the aerospace and defense industry March 14. Both the Senators and Stevens’ keynote remarks focused on the importance of the aerospace and defense industry and the imperative to find an immediate alternative to sequestration.
“The aerospace and defense industry cannot wait until a lame duck session to deal with the consequences of sequestration,” said Stevens during the question and answer session. “We are already taking action by not hiring and training new workers, not investing in new plants and equipment and not investing in new R&D.”
“It’s pretty clear that the aerospace and defense industry is vital to our economy and national security,” said Senator Chambliss. “U.S. capabilities in terms in aerospace and defense research, development, production and performance are the envy of every other country in the world.”
“Few industries have contributed to the economy over the last 100 years as much as our aerospace industry,” said Senator Murray. “If we want to continue that for the next 100 years we are going to have to work on it.”
“We have an obligation to begin preparing today for the potential cuts, in the event the government is not able to reverse the legislation requiring sequestration,” said Stevens. “An additional $53 billion a year in defense cuts starting in January 2013 would be catastrophic for our industry and our nation.”
Along with the speakers, Tom Captain, vice chairman and U.S. aerospace and defense leader at Deloitte was on hand to answer questions on the recently published report “The Aerospace and Defense Industry in the U.S.: A financial and economic impact study.”
The report, commissioned by AIA, outlined the state-by-state impact the aerospace and defense industry has on employment as well as the nation’s GDP. These facts and figures demonstrate the contributions of the industry to U.S. national and economic security and what’s at risk to the country if sequestration triggers additional cuts to the defense budget and other discretionary accounts.
For additional information on AIA’s Second to None campaign and efforts to stop sequestration and to access to the complete Deloitte study, please click here.
AIA Source: ashley.gudzak[at]aia.aerospace.org