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Arlington, Va. (Jan. 18, 2024) – In case you missed it, Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning penned an op-ed in Real Clear Politics, urging Congress to fully fund the federal government, including one of the most strategic assets the U.S. retains: the defense industrial base.

“No other country has a defense industrial base with the innovation, infrastructure, and workforce like the United States does: it is a critical deterrent to our enemies. But that leadership did not happen overnight, and it has taken decades of policy and investment to shape the defense industrial base into what it is today: positioned for peacetime,” Fanning writes. “The past two years have given Americans a front row seat to how our defense industry would be put to the test in a time of war. Between the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and a hot conflict in the Middle East, if we were to ask our defense companies to also tackle an escalation in the Indo-Pacific, current federal funding would be insufficient to enable ramping up production quickly.”

In the op-ed, Fanning highlights the top U.S. threat China’s ability to ramp up production capabilities and continually watches the U.S. fail to maintain clear and strong demand signals to the defense industrial base. “Meanwhile China is playing a better long game than we are. They have doubled their defense budget over the last decade alone, making them the second-largest military spender in the world. And while China’s lack of transparency means we do not know exactly how they are spending this money; we do know they are leapfrogging us in technologies like hypersonic missiles and shipbuilding capabilities.

“If Congress wants to counter China’s modernization threat, it needs to restore that trust and invest in America’s defense companies, workforce and supply chain. Congress has always found a path forward on its most basic constitutional duty: funding the federal government. At this pivotal point, we hope they will do so again. To fail to meet this moment and to allow China to gain further traction against us would be a mistake with lasting repercussions,” Fanning finishes.

Read the full op-ed here.


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