WASHINGTON, DC, June 29, 2011 – In a joint letter to President Obama, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) expressed deep concern over recent comments and actions questioning the value of corporate aircraft use and proposing tax changes that would negatively impact the entire general aviation industry.
The letter emphasized that while ill-informed criticism of corporate jets and business aviation may appear to some as good politics, the reality is that it hurts one of the leading manufacturing and export industries in the United States. This kind of criticism has also led to the layoff of over 20,000 IAM members.
The Administration has renewed its emphasis on strengthening U.S. manufacturing, so it seems very perplexing that it would choose to demonize this specific industry as it begins to recover and return workers to their high-skilled jobs.
“The Administration has a laudable goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years. How then can President Obama attack a manufacturing sector that exported over 60 percent of the value of its products in 2010? General aviation manufacturers can help the president meet his export goals, but not if this damaging rhetoric continues,” said GAMA President and CEO, Pete Bunce.
“Words have consequences and, in this industry, a few misguided words can put at risk even the ever-so-modest recovery we have experienced. What this industry and its workforce requires is more time to recover, a chance to book more orders and the opportunity to recall more workers,” said Tom Buffenbarger, IAM International President.
A full copy of the letter is attached.