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Pratt & Whitney President and AIA Chairman, David P. Hess, joined AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey in speaking at a House Aerospace Caucus Luncheon on July 19. Both were introduced by caucus co-chairman, Representative Pete Olson (R-TX). Hess applauded the aerospace industry’s significant accomplishments and offered cautionary words to lawmakers about the impending across-the-board budget cuts.
The aerospace sector has “fundamentally changed the way we live, work, travel and communicate,” said Hess. “The full spectrum of the industry’s contributions include everything from enabling you to swipe your credit card at the gas pump to…braces and heart monitors.” Hess noted that aerospace exports in 2012 added a robust $42.2 billion trade surplus to a struggling economy, and that the industry continues to be a vital asset to national security and job creation.
Hess asked Congress to consider how sequestration will stunt economic growth, threaten national security and stand in the way of American innovation. He argued that sequestration “does not align with any national security strategy articulated by the administration or the Pentagon,” and will limit our military’s technological resources. Hess urged legislators to develop an alternative to the automatic cuts scheduled to kick in January 2, 2013. ”We need a budget approach to defense and aerospace that is less arbitrary, more predictable and more likely to strengthen our national security and economy,” he said.
AIA also sponsored the previous day's meeting of the Senate Aerospace Caucus, which featured remarks by co-chairs Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), calling for the repeal of sequestration. This event featured a keynote address from Acting Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank. Secretary Blank championed her support of the aerospace industry along with the importance of American innovation and manufacturing.
AIA Source: cory.hitt[at]aia-aerospace.org