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Aerospace Programs Will Aid Economy: That is the message being generated by the Aerospace Industries Association in a new outreach campaign. According to a Dec. 2 release, "The initiative, aimed at the incoming administration and Congress, will encourage leaders to consider the industry as an economic driver that will help our nation overcome our current financial challenges." AIA has targeted inside-the-beltway media for ads to hammer home its message, including the fact that "the aerospace and defense industry supports more than two million middle class jobs with over 30,000 suppliers from all 50 states," said AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey. The Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson spotted one of the first ads and, in a Dec. 3 brief, notes that the "persuasive pitch" could be a hard sell, especially since aerospace "is not a sector that fits comfortably with the conservative vision of an economy driven by the free interplay of market forces." However, Thompson argues that government support in this industry has helped it to remain "a global leader while other industries like steel-making and autos faltered." So, he writes, "The bottom line on the aerospace industry's campaign is this: The government can either keep supporting the sector, or watch another great American industry disappear."