Defense Trade: Keeping America Secure and Competitive is a original report authored by Content First for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quantifying the U.S. defense and aerospace industrial base. The study's key findings include important factoids such as:
- The Economic Importance of the U.S. Defense Industry: U.S. defense expenditures totaled $474 billion, representing 3.8% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- The Defense Industry is at the Cutting Edge of Advanced Technology: Defense programs are frequently at the forefront of scientific advancement placing a premium on innovation, with a cutting-edge focus on highly integrated information technology, sensor, and net-centric systems.
- The Defense Industry Relies on the Best and the Brightest: The nation's scientists and engineers contribute to the vitality of the U.S. defense and aerospace industry, with defense-related employment totaling 3.6 million jobs, representing 2.4% of total national employment.
- The Defense Industry Depends on the International Market: U.S. aerospace and defense exports reached $73.3 billion, comprising 8% of all U.S. merchandise exports to the world in 2005.
- Foreign Defense Sales Create U.S. Jobs: Thousands of American jobs - employing between 55,000 and 70,000 Americans - are supported by foreign defense sales.