WASHINGTON, Sept 4 Top U.S. aerospace and
defense contractors are set to meet the Defense Department this
month to discuss concerns about the impact of automatic budget
cuts due to take effect in January unless Congress acts to
repeal or delay them, the top executive of the industry's main
trade group said on Tuesday.
The meeting, set from Sept. 18, will bring together Deputy
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the 18-member executive
committee of the Aerospace Industries Association, said Marion
Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association.
The automatic across-the-board cuts, called sequestration,
are set to kick in on Jan. 2 if Congress fails to agree on $1.2
trillion in deficit-reduction measures. One half of the cuts
would be imposed on national defense spending on top of $487
billion in military cuts already mandated over the coming nine
The talks with Carter, who runs the Pentagon on a day-to-day
basis, will be "undoubtedly mostly about sequestration and how
contracts will be handled," Blakey told a Reuters roundtable.
The trade group's executive committee is led by David Hess,
president of United Technologies Corp's Pratt & Whitney
engine-making unit. Also included on the committee are the chief
executives of Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman
Corp, Boeing Co's commercial airplane business
and General Dynamics Corp.
Leaders of a defense industrial base task force organized by
the Aerospace Industries Association along with two other
industry groups met Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on July 23 to
discuss what the groups called sequestration's "severe
consequences" on the U.S. industrial base and national security.