Praises Export Reform, Laments Lack Of Aviation And Aerospace
AIA is very pleased that President
Obama is making it a priority this year to double exports, enforce
trade agreements and reform export controls consistent with
national security. Trade expansion and export control modernization
are longtime priorities of AIA and recognition of their importance
by the President sets a positive tone for action this year.
In particular, we're looking forward to seeing the
recommendations from the interagency working group that he
established in August to undertake a comprehensive review of the
U.S. export control system. Reforms of the system will grow
high-skill, high-wage jobs, keep America's defense industrial base
competitive and sustain its ability to provide America's military
and our close allies with the best technology at the best
Among the notable omissions in the speech was any mention of
aviation. In particular, the Next Generation Air Transportation
System that will transform the way Americans travel as we replace
the 1950s era radar-based system with a precision satellite-based
system. It is infrastructure that is a major catalyst for jobs and
should be included in any jobs bill.
AIA is squarely on the record with the facts: The total number
of direct and indirect jobs generated by an approximate $6 billion
investment in NextGen equipment is more than 150,000 through 2012,
with 30,000 jobs generated the first year. According to our
research, there are already 2,436 manufacturing, maintenance and
installation facilities operating in every state of the union.
Investment in NextGen will add more jobs to these already
established and productive facilities.
Another notable omission was NASA and the future of our manned
space program. While President Obama stressed the importance of
technology and education to our competitiveness and economy, NASA
is a key contributor to those fundamentals for our nation. A robust
and well-funded space effort that includes a program of manned
exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit is a wonderful source of
inspiration for America's youth to pursue high level science and
technical education and careers. We must reach for the stars to
provide that inspiration.
Finally, the President's recognition of the need for small
businesses to obtain credit is welcomed by all AIA members, but
particularly by our smaller suppliers who have been stymied in
their efforts to invest and innovate by a weak credit market. This,
along with the tax proposals, will help small businesses boost our
economy to health.
Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents
the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil,
military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft
systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related
components, equipment services, and information technology.