Industry Frozen by Sequestration Threat

Lockheed Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Stevens urged members of the Senate Aerospace Caucus to take action before the steep across-the-board spending cuts of the Budget Control Act’s sequestration clause are applied next January. “The very prospect of sequestration is already having a chilling effect on the industry,” said Stevens at a caucus luncheon last week. He added, “We’re not going to hire. We’re not going to make speculative investments. We’re not going to lean forward. We’re not going to invest in incremental training because the uncertainty associated with $53 billion more of reductions in our first fiscal quarter next year is a huge disruption to our businesses.” Stevens said Lockheed Martin also has legal responsibility to its employees to inform them when significant layoffs are coming to a specific geographical region. Although such cuts will be unavoidable if sequestration is implemented, the company is struggling to position itself for such changes without clear guidance from Congress, he said. “These are not easy problems for businesses to wrestle with,” said Stevens in his March 14 remarks. (Stevens’ speech transcript)