- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
Bob Barnett, owner of a small company in North Carolina that makes custom aerospace connectors, is visiting his Congressmen with dozens of other suppliers this week during National Aerospace Week. Like many small-business owners across the country, he’s worried about the prospect of a ‘double-dip’ recession, but as a successful supplier in the aerospace and defense industry he is confident the industry has the wherewithal to weather most any economic turmoil.
What worries Barnett more than the economy are burdensome government contracting and export control regulations, along with stifling tax policies, which threaten to chip away at his business and 40 years as a provider of dozens of jobs in his community.
National Aerospace Week, which runs Sept. 12 through 18, is an opportunity for Barnett and thousands of other Americans to highlight the crucial role the aerospace and defense industry plays in our economic well-being, our national security and our technological superiority, as well as the industry’s history of producing good, high-paying jobs.
The aerospace and defense industry employs 819,000 workers across the nation, supporting more than two million middle-class jobs with more than 30,000 suppliers from all 50 states. On its own, the aerospace industry employed 644,200 workers in 2009, and while overall manufacturing employment dropped 11.4 percent last year, aerospace employment fell a modest 2.4 percent.
With all the talk about creating jobs, we believe our industry is being overlooked as a job generator. In fact, aerospace is a job multiplier. Economists estimate that every aerospace and defense industry job generates 2.5 additional jobs for our economy. We are our own stimulus package, if you will. But while healthy and strong, the industry’s strength is being compromised by overly burdensome government regulations.
We are pleased by the recent announcements of the administration’s proposed changes to the export control system, and we hope Congress steps up to the plate and works with the administration to implement these proposals. Changing our outmoded export control regime allows the United States to share technologies with important allies. Of equal importance, a simplified system will provide more opportunities for companies to compete for foreign contracts, thereby creating new revenue and new jobs.
“A lot of potential customers tell us ‘We like your service, but we won’t buy from you because we won’t do your compliance paperwork.’ So they walk away and buy from an entity in Asia or Europe, costing us millions of dollars,” said Tim DiDonato, a manufacturer Yarde Metals in Southington, Conn.
Read more at Roll Call