U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today co-hosted the 11th Annual Defense and Economic Development Trade Show (DTS) in Fayetteville. The event brought together more than 800 businesses, defense contractors, soldiers and federal officials to promote growth in North Carolina's defense industry. Hagan offered remarks during the DTS breakfast as well as the Trade Show kickoff at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
"North Carolina has the third largest military footprint in the country," Hagan said. "And I want North Carolina to be the most sought-after state in the nation for defense contracts. Our thriving defense businesses produce high quality products that support our troops and just as importantly - create jobs for North Carolinians. The Defense Trade Show is key to ensuring more defense contracts come right here to North Carolina to boost our economy and help get the people of our state back to work."
In 2011, businesses in 87 of North Carolina's 100 counties were awarded or executed $4.06 billion in prime contracts from the Department of Defense, an increase of 13 percent and $471 million over 2010.
With North Carolina's large military footprint and the importance of the defense industry to the state's economy, Hagan is committed to addressing the country's fiscal issues and avoiding sequestration cuts that would harm North Carolina defense businesses.
"Let me be clear," Hagan said. "While sequestration was put in place as a drastic option-an option intended to spur more thoughtful action - I believe it is clearly the wrong instrument to use for deficit reduction. The cuts it would mandate are indiscriminant and unprioritized. They do not account for the needs of our troops currently serving in harm's way. They do not prepare our military to defend our country against future threats. I will do my part to avert this catastrophe. I hope my colleagues will join me to enact a balanced deficit reduction plan that promotes our national security and gives businesses the confidence and stability needed to grow and create jobs."
Hagan co-hosted the 11th Annual Defense Trade Show with Senator Richard Burr and Congressman Larry Kissell. The DTS provides extensive networking opportunities and government procurement workshops for prospective and current federal contractors. The event aims to build relationships among representatives of the congressional delegation, Department of Defense, other federal agencies and numerous defense contracting firms, including both large and small North Carolina businesses.