Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 9:24 pm | Mostly Cloudy 62º

 
 
 
 

Tom Donohue: Aerospace Makes Jobs and Exports Soar

Industry is thriving but it could play an even bigger role in fueling the economy

For the naysayers who argue that American manufacturing is dead (it’s not!), let me suggest that they take a look at what’s happening in the aerospace industry. Despite the recent economic downturn, aerospace achieved $215 billion in sales last year, all while providing more than 644,000 good-paying jobs.

Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue

This critical industry — which is essential to national defense, transportation and technological innovation — is also a leader when it comes to exports. In 2009, American aerospace companies enjoyed a trade surplus of $56 billion. In the spirit of National Aerospace Week, let me share what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doing to help the aerospace industry — and the broader economy — expand and create the jobs that will get Americans back to work.

First, we support the modernization of aviation infrastructure, which received a “D” on a report card issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Over the next five years, ASCE projects that aviation infrastructure will suffer from a $40 billion funding shortfall. This is unacceptable. We need to improve airports and air traffic control systems today. The chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America initiative is leading the charge for adequate infrastructure funding and will continue to address this issue in the next Congress.

Second, the chamber believes that Congress should reauthorize the programs under the Federal Aviation Administration. Any such legislation should expedite air traffic control modernization (known as NextGen), provide research and technology funding targeted to projects that increase national aviation system capacity and safety, and ensure continued air service to communities nationwide.

Third, we are advocating for an expansion of international trade, which would benefit the aerospace industry and the broader economy by opening up new markets to American goods and services. This must include the modernization and reform of U.S. export controls — which the Obama administration has begun to pursue. We welcome efforts to create an export controls regime appropriate to America’s national security needs, one that facilitates rather than hinders R&D and trade activities critical to the continued health and international superiority of our aerospace and defense industry.

Finally, the chamber will continue to lead the fight against any Buy American mandates in federal legislation that would invite retaliation from our trading partners, hurting the aerospace industry and the workers it employs.

By following these policy prescriptions, elected officials can ensure that American aerospace companies will continue to deliver cutting-edge breakthroughs and jobs, both of which are needed to get our economy back on track.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >