Aerospace Industry Group Increasingly Fearful of Fiscal Cliff Defense Cuts

Marion Blakey, International Coordinating Council of AIA
Marion Blakey, International Coordinating Council of AIA

WASHINGTON -- Sequestration, sequestration, sequestration -- that was the one note the Aerospace Industries Association struck over and over at its biggest annual public event.

Flanked by AIA's now-iconic clock counting down 27 days before the sequester destroys "two million jobs" (a disputed figure), President Marion Blakey declared: "I'm an optimist and we have to prevail." But with automatic budget cuts slated to take effect Jan. 2, unless Congress and the White House reach an increasingly unlikely deal, just how the government could forestall the sequester isn't entirely clear. Nor did Blakey endorse the bold proposal of one of its member CEOs, who wants the GOP to agree to raise corporate and individual tax rates as part of a deal.

So thoroughly did sequestration dominate the agenda that even AIA's slickly produced video presentation eschewed its normal bombast over America's superior air- and spacecraft to warn of the danger of the automatic budget cuts. Blakey got right to it.

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