AIA Urges Senate to Confirm James Mattis as Secretary of Defense

Statement by AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher urging the Senate to confirm General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association, whose member companies support the Defense Department’s efforts to equip and supply our men and women in uniform, applaud the Senate Armed Services Committee’s overwhelming bipartisan vote to confirm retired Marine General James Mattis to be the next Secretary of Defense and urge the full Senate to follow suit and vote to confirm him as quickly as possible.

General Mattis was a distinguished military leader and strategist. His intellect and character are unassailable. He understands the threats America faces and the tools the Department of Defense needs to meet them, and he cares deeply about our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. He is superbly qualified to lead our armed forces, and we stand ready to work with him to restore America’s military strength.

AIA, our member companies and our dedicated, highly skilled workforce are proud of the noble work we do supporting our men and women in uniform and contributing to the economic success of our nation. Our industry contributes the largest positive trade balance of any U.S. industry – $81.6 billion in 2015 – and supports more than 1.7 million jobs in the United States, including 13 percent of our nation’s manufacturing workforce. We have great potential to create more jobs, particularly with strong investment in our nation’s defense.