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Aerospace and defense workers are essential, representing nearly 20 percent of the nation’s manufacturing workforce

Arlington, Va. — Today, Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) President and CEO Eric Fanning released the following statement, which sets a path forward to ensure the resilience of the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. AIA represents more than 300 companies and the industry’s 2.5 million workers — ranging from multinational prime contractors to family-owned businesses.

“Unprecedented challenges present unprecedented opportunities for America’s leaders to work together to support our country’s economic and national security. Few industries are more inextricably linked to our nation’s continued success and global competitiveness than aerospace and defense. Our people, products, and common supply chain help to power our economy and to provide our warfighters—many of whom are currently deployed—the world-class capabilities and tools they need to defend our nation’s security.

“Right now, extraordinary challenges to our workforce and our heavily integrated supply chain are reverberating across America’s industrial base, which in turn, is having a major and measurable impact on our economy. Here are four key proposals to help protect our workforce and ensure our industry is resilient in this crisis and comes out stronger:

  1. Temporary injection of public and private investment into the system to help mitigate reduced cash flow and financial burdens stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. Liquidity is the prime tool to help companies throughout the supply chain navigate through the crisis;
  2. Measures to help support our workforce that would enable employers to protect jobs and our national security during the pandemic. To support the continuation of critical national security work during the period of uncertainty, the Administration and DOD should designate national security programs and workforce as essential. Like our citizens that have been asked to continue working at grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and gas stations to support our communities, our workforce must continue to deliver products and services to our armed services as they continue to protect our security here at home and around the globe;
  3. Support for small businesses and our supply chain to help ensure availability of people and products that are essential to the industry during the pandemic;
  4. Clear and consistent guidance for all federal contracts to help accelerate payments, obligations, and contract awards and facilitate the flow down of critical resources to the supply chain and stabilize procurements, while ensuring minimal disruption to the delivery of goods and services.

“We urge American leaders at every level—local, state, and federal—to seize this opportunity to work together to help support our industry, which is essential to our country’s economic and national security.”


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