WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a statement released on the eve of the State of the Union address, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) International President Tom Buffenbarger praised President Obama’s support for a robust U.S. aviation industry, but warned that proposals to increase taxes on U.S.-made business jets could cripple a home grown industry that employs 1.2 million Americans.
“President Obama has shown real leadership by pledging to double U.S. exports and expand manufacturing. The President has backed up that pledge with strong support for the Export-Import Bank to help finance exports that, coupled with robust domestic content requirements, ensure that American workers benefit from the resulting export activity, particularly in the U.S. aerospace industry,” said Buffenbarger. “Unfortunately, a few voices in the Administration and Congress may undermine President Obama’s efforts by resurrecting the job-killing tax provision of extending the depreciation period for business aircraft. Like a bad game of whack-a-mole, this short sighted idea keeps raising its ugly head, threatening an industry that employs 1.2 million Americans and, with most its product exported, creates a trade surplus with the rest of the world.”
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In a report on the business jet industry for the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, the U.S. International Trade Committee (USITC) noted that three of the six leading producers are located in the U.S. and, that while the whole industry has been negatively impacted by the ongoing economic crisis, U.S. manufacturers were particularly hard hit with a 57 percent decline since 2007.
“Business aircraft not only contribute $150 billion in economic activity, they are an important competitive tool for small and midsize companies,” said Buffenbarger. “Most passengers on these aircraft are not CEOs, but rather medical personnel, engineers, service techs, and sales representatives. These aircraft go where airlines will not go providing a vital commercial link to the global economy for many small and rural communities.”
The IAM is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries. For more information about the IAM, visit www.goiam.org.