Our aerospace and aviation workforce is the best in the world, powered by hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, including more than 60,000 in Ohio and 180,000 in Texas. American aerospace is a flagship industry - producing an annual positive trade balance of close to $60 billion.
In recent years, American aerospace and aviation has been facing new challenges, including mounting competition from foreign competitors like Brazil, Canada, and Europe and growing consumer concerns. Instead of supporting our industries, the Bush administration has slashed funding for NASA's aeronautical research and development, underfunded FAA's air traffic control modernization, and failed to adequately enforce our trade agreements to create a level playing field for our domestic industries.
Hillary Clinton has a plan to ensure that America remains the global leader in aerospace and aviation. As President, she will:
Provide new incentives for and investments in aerospace research and development. Hillary will double NASA's and FAA's aeronautics R&D budgets as part of her plan to reverse the Bush administration's war on science. She will pursue a balanced strategy of robust human spaceflight, expanded robotic spaceflight, and enhanced space and Earth science activities. She will speed development, testing, and deployment of next-generation launch and crew exploration vehicles to replace the aging Space Shuttle program. At the same time, Hillary's innovation agenda calls for stimulating in-house research and commercial development by making the R&D tax credit permanent. She will also double federal investment in basic research, which is critical for ensuring that America is at the forefront of new ideas.
Expand the nation's pool of skilled scientists, engineers, and technicians. To meet the aerospace industry's need for scientists, engineers and technicians, Hillary has called for tripling the number of NSF fellowships and other incentives for bringing more people, particularly women and minorities, into the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. Hillary will reward teachers that enter math and science disciplines and strengthen our K-12 education system to ensure we are producing the best future scientists and engineers in the world.
Modernize our air transportation system. Hillary will appoint an FAA director whose chief responsibility will be to speed a smooth transition to a Next Generation Air Transportation System. Hillary sees the Next Generation system as vital to accommodating the growth in air travel, to enhancing the safety and competitiveness of American aviation, and to improving air travel for consumers.
Undertake smart, tough international trade negotiations that establish level playing fields on which our aerospace firms can compete fairly and win. Hillary recognizes that aerospace is a highly competitive global industry and that aerospace trade takes place within an exceedingly complex matrix of global, multilateral, and bilateral agreements, standards, and certification and adjudication procedures among nations. As President, she will level the playing field by ensuring fair trade negotiations, just settlement of disputes before the WTO, continued support for international certification and sales of U.S. civil aircraft, and she will look to update our outdated export control system.