Washington (July 1, 2003) -- The American Electronics Association has joined forces with the R&D Credit Coalition to ask Congress to permanently extend the federal research and development tax credit within the year, fearing the high-tech industry at large will be negatively impacted if the credit expires.

The first tier of the lobbying campaign contains a series of cards sent to Congressional leaders. The front side of the cards read: “Q: What happens on June 30, 2004?” The reverse side says: “A: The R&D credit will expire -- again. Support a stronger and permanent R&D Credit -- Cosponsor S. 664/H.R. 463.”

Similar cards and letters will be sent at regular intervals to remind legislators of the issue. The campaign is supported by more than 85 trade and professional associations and more than 1,000 small, medium and large companies representing nearly every research-intensive business segment and state in the country.

AeA president William Archer believes the R&D tax credit provides companies with “a critical, effective and proven incentive to maintain and increase their investment in U.S.-based research and development.” It is also his, and AeA’s, view that making the credit permanent “will provide certainty to businesses that are making critical long-term investment decisions.”

Jim McGeever, CFO at Web-based business and accounting software company NetLedger, supports Archer’s views. “It's important to teach companies to invest in the future - especially in the tough times – and ensure they remain competitive in the coming years,” McGeever said. “The R&D tax credit is a wise investment for the government to make for the future of our tech economy.”

AeA is the nation’s largest high- tech trade association, representing more than 3,000 companies with 1.8 million employees, 17 regional U.S. councils and offices in Brussels and Beijing.

-- Seth Fineberg

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