- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The opinion article by William Hartung and Christopher Preble (“Defense spending doesn’t belong in stimulus plan,” Analysis/Opinion, Wednesday) has a slight problem - the premise is 100 percent wrong.

As the trade association advocating on behalf of the aerospace and defense industry regarding the stimulus, AIA has not asked for one dime in the bill for defense spending.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hartung and Mr. Preble haven’t done their research about our industry very carefully. We have been pointing out that aerospace and defense is already a stimulus to the economy as it stands today. The industry is only requesting that lawmakers do not make it a bill payer for other industries that are asking the government for a bailout.

Our industry is one of the cornerstones of the U.S. economy, even in these hard times. We provide more than 2 million middle-class jobs spread over 30,000 companies in all 50 states. Aerospace and defense exported $99 billion last year and had a foreign trade surplus of $61 billion (!) - the largest of any U.S. manufacturing sector.

In today’s economic atmosphere, it’s interesting to note the authors’ lack of concern about the people, families and entire communities that depend on our industry for employment and support.


President and CEO Aerospace Industries Association


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