July 12, 2012
Credit: Credit: DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond
Weapons industry executives say they are growing slightly more hopeful that U.S. lawmakers may yet avert another $500 billion in budget cuts facing the Pentagon come January, on top of $487 billion in cuts already on the books.
Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, said a growing number of U.S. decision-makers appeared to understand the damaging effect that the uncertainty surrounding the reductions was having on investment and hiring.
Blakey and AIA, the largest aerospace industry trade group, have brought together companies, unions and elected officials to speak out against the possible budget reductions in recent months, but she said the group still had “more work to do.”
AIA also commissioned a study that showed the cuts would result in the loss of 1 million direct and indirect jobs.
Blakey said she discussed the issue with a variety of industry executives, U.S. governors and government officials during the Farnborough International Airshow.
She said eight governors attended the air show and planned to raise concerns about the pending budget cuts at the National Governors Association meeting this weekend.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors also urged Congress and the Obama administration at its annual meeting in June to avert the mandatory, across-the-board cuts required under a process known as “sequestration.”
“There is a path forward,” Blakey told Reuters at the Farnborough event, where many U.S. companies are seeking to drum up international sales. She said political leaders were clearly on “red alert” about the issue.
Throughout the show, executives have emphasized what they see as the paralyzing effect that nagging uncertainty about the budget cuts is having on hiring, investment and acquisitions.