The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a non-partisan think tank, just released a study called Eroding Our Foundation: Sequestration, R&D, Innovation and U.S. Economic Growth highlighting the broad impact sequestration will have on the R&D funding, the innovation it creates and the job creation engine it powers. The report specifically focused on basic research funding at civilian agencies, the technology breakthroughs that have resulted, the partnerships businesses have with those universities and agencies that receive that funding, and the jobs that result when they are brought to market – and the threat posed to this entire ecosystem if sequestration takes effect.
The NAM is very aware of the current budget environment and the need to prioritize investments. We are also aware the high-level of competition we face from around the world to invent and develop the next game-changing manufacturing technology, medical device, or process. As NAM research has highlighted, cuts to the Defense budget will have devastating effects on the manufacturing supply-chain with potential job losses totaling close to one million manufacturing workers. The ITIF report brings even more attention to the danger of sequestration and finds that close to 200,000 jobs per year could be in jeopardy if these across the board cuts to R&D investment are implemented.
As manufacturers lead the U.S. economic recovery now is not the time to shut down one of the key components of economic growth that has helped solidify our worldwide innovative lead. We encourage you to read the NAM report on defense cuts as well as the ITIF report and tell your elected officials how it will impact your business.
Brian Raymond is director of technology and domestic economic policy, National Association of Manufacturers.