'Fiscal cliff' and Michigan government suppliers

3:54 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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AP image of the U.S. Capitol

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The prospect of Congress' failure to soon agree on spending and revenues could trigger an immediate cut to defense spending of $50 billion or more.  

That's what's known as sequestration.   The cuts would likely have no impact on existing contracts suppliers have with the federal government.

In West Michigan, Herman Miller has the largest federal contract.   Uncle Sam spends about $60 million dollars with the Zeeland office furniture maker.   The company would not comment on the prospects of sequestration Wednesday, but in September, Herman Miller's CEO said he anticipated weakened demand from the federal government.

GE Aviation of Casade does about $42 million dollars of business with the government; Steelcase about $30 million dollars.  

GE spokesperson Jennifer Villarreal said the company is not concerned.   "The defense programs would be pretty far reaching in the timeframe so we would be fine there," Villareal said.

The Detroit News has reported on a study that says sequestration would cause an estimated loss of nearly 1.37 million defense jobs nationwide, including 14,641 jobs in Michigan, according to the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based research group that promotes "peace through strength."

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