AIA’s Melcher: megatrends demand focus, beg action in aerospace and defense
ARLINGTON, Va. Four “Megatrends” are shaping a challenging policy arena in Washington and a rapidly changing global environment: the state of deficit politics, U.S. leadership in a global economy, smart regulations, and digital economy, says Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) President/Chief Executive Officer Dave Melcher. He articulated aerospace and defense industry priorities with the new administration and the 115th Congress in 2017 and beyond to affect positive change in the areas of national security, stimulating the economy, and bolstering American jobs.
“The sorry state of deficit politics is the first Megatrend that requires much greater attention. We deeply regret the prolonged budget uncertainty,” Melcher says, “and unthinking austerity of recent years — especially when it comes to funding real and emerging security needs, and the technological investment that will pay untold dividends in the civil aviation and space arenas.
“Second, we’re disturbed by the increasing threats to policies that expand our industry’s trade competitiveness that have led to self-inflicted wounds to U.S. leadership in a global economy,” Melcher continues. “We intend to continue assertively making the case for positive engagement in global trade.
“Third, we see a need for smart regulation to reduce the burden imposed by government rules, regulations, and executive orders on industry. And fourth, the rapid transition to a digital global economy that we’re witnessing presents significant opportunities and challenges as more attention is paid to big data analytics and addressing cyber risks,” Melcher explains.
These Megatrends influence all aspects of the aerospace and defense enterprise, prompting AIA officials to outline priority goals aimed at affecting positive change in Washington and our industry. Those priorities focus on national security, a new Security Cooperation Doctrine, adherence to a federal fiscal year, approving directors for the Export Import Bank of the U.S., FAA reauthorization, selling American goods and services, and several others.
“So as we seek clear paths for future economic growth, we need to build on our strengths,” Melcher adds. “We must make a conscious decision to invest in the national security, civil space, aeronautics, and 21st century air transportation systems. This will assure that our nation remains at the forefront of innovation, continues to be the hub for providing good-quality, middle-class jobs for millions of Americans, and keeps inspiring our youth to dare to dream great dreams.”
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