Posts Tagged ‘aerospace’

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Trains, Planes and Automobiles…And so Much More

July 3, 2012

Tyler Voorhees is working in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration for the summer. He is a junior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Summer is finally here, the time when most Americans take time off from their busy work schedules and plan out a vacation or two. We either pack up the car for a family road trip, book flights to distant parts of the country or even load up the Recreational Vehicle (RV) and hit the road with no particular plans.

Shaking hands over a Harley-Davidson Softail are China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming (right), and former Secretary of Commerce, current U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke (center) (Photo Commerce)

Shaking hands over a Harley-Davidson Softail are China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming (right), and former Secretary of Commerce, current U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke (center) (Photo Commerce)

Given how much Americans love to travel, it is no wonder that we’ve developed one of the most sophisticated and competitive transportation industries, and by that we don’t just mean the iconic Detroit 3 or aerospace giant Boeing. America still manufactures a wide array of products that we lump together as “transportation.” This includes everything from recreational boats like kayaks, paddle boats and motorboats to the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is truly a global effort with components manufactured all over the world.

Not only is domestic demand for these goods strong, there is also strong demand for our transportation goods abroad. Did you know that in 2011 the U.S. aerospace industry alone contributed more than $87 billion to U.S. exports sales? U.S. aerospace exports are expected to grow thanks to the largest aerospace show in 2012, the Farnborough Airshow in England. Boeing has decided to demonstrate its new 787 Dreamliner for foreign buyers and expects strong sales this year as airlines prepare to increase their fleet size in preparation for the air travel boom sparked by an expected increase in international travel and tourism.

Also, what may be even more surprising is that China is expected to be a huge market for many recreational transportation goods, including pleasure boats, motorcycles and RVs. Harley-Davidson, for example, already has eight full-service dealerships in China, and it plans to open even more in the coming years.  Also, the RV market in China is about to take off, according to industry experts.  ‘RVs have a long and glorious history in the West,’ says one Chinese entrepreneur in Beijing.  ‘Chinese are the same; we love the outdoors.  So we’re learning the American and Western RV culture.’

The transportation industry is also at the forefront of development in the sustainable economy. Many people don’t know that several U.S. automotive plants produce no waste, remanufacturing drastically reduces the material, energy, and water usage of the U.S. service parts industry, and that more than 95 percent of U.S. automobiles are recycled. Combined with the ongoing investments in vehicle efficiency technologies such as advanced combustion engines, hybrid and electric vehicles, the U.S. automotive industry is the very epitome of the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

For all of the reasons above, we’ve decided to spend the month of July highlighting the successes the transportation industry has enjoyed abroad and all that we do here at the International Trade Administration (ITA) to help American businesses abroad.

We will be highlighting innovative work that shows the unconventional ways that businesses can find customers abroad, grow their businesses and create good-paying jobs here in America during the process. Make sure to check our blog for new articles and follow us on Twitter at @TradeGov for interesting facts as the month goes on.

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Creating Jobs: “Plane” and Simple

February 7, 2012

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Kim Wells is a senior international trade specialist in the Office of Aerospace, with 19 years’ experience supporting aerospace exports.

Most people think of planes as a way of connecting people with destinations.  In the International Trade Administration (ITA), we know that just one plane connects thousands of workers here at home.

As with most exports of large, high-tech products, the export of one aircraft (or ship, or large piece of machinery) is the result of a huge supply chain that touches people and communities across the United States.

For example, in November 2011, Emirates Airlines signed an agreement to purchase 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with options for 20 more, totaling $26 billion at list prices.  Each 777 will be equipped with two American-made GE90 engines. Though the names on the plane may be “Boeing” and “GE”, the truth is that each aircraft is a finely integrated system of nearly four million parts from more than 11,000 suppliers specializing in everything from lighting to advanced avionics and seatback trays to landing gear. As a result, this single sale will support over 100,000 U.S. jobs in more than a dozen states.

These jobs are the kind of jobs the United States is seeking—high technology, high wage, and high skilled.  And with each of these jobs, thousands of other indirect jobs are created that support the work and lives of these employees.  In fact, the aerospace and defense industry employed over 818,000 people in the United States in 2009 and supported an additional 1.8 million U.S. jobs in related fields.

The U.S. aerospace industry has the highest trade surplus of any U.S. manufacturing industry and supports more jobs through exports than any other manufacturing industry.  At ITA, we know that U.S. firms—whether they make large planes or business jets, helicopters or aircraft engines—can produce products at home that will beat the competition overseas as long as they compete on a level playing field.  That’s why aerospace is an important export industry that will help achieve the goals of President Obama’s National Export InitiativeITA’s Aerospace Team is working hard to identify and create new export opportunities, break down barriers in foreign markets and ensure that level playing field for our manufacturers in order to create and secure aerospace industry jobs here in the United States.

So, is selling an airplane overseas good for the country and for American jobs?

Yes–“plane” and simple.

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Featured Trade Event May 6–9, 2012

December 7, 2011

U.S. Aerospace Supplier Trade Mission to Canada

Montreal, Canada

Canadian flight directions display (photo courtesy istock/melissa mercier)

Canadian flight directions display (photo courtesy istock/melissa mercier)

As the world’s fifth largest aerospace market and its third largest civil aircraft market, Canada provides great opportunities for U.S. suppliers of aircraft parts, components and systems. Canada is a leading producer of regional aircraft, commercial helicopters, turbine engines, flight simulators, and a wide range of aircraft systems and equipment. Montreal is one of the world’s three largest aerospace hubs, along with Toulouse, France, and Seattle, Washington. It is also one of the few places in the world where an entire aircraft can be assembled within a 30-mile radius.

Participants in this trade mission will have a unique opportunity to meet prospective business partners in Canada through meetings with prescreened aerospace procurement and engineering representatives, networking events with Canadian aerospace industry and government representatives, and seminars and industry briefings conducted by industry experts on opportunities in Canada’s aerospace market. There will also be special site visits to key Canadian aerospace companies.

The cost to participate in the trade mission ranges from $2,200 to $2,800 per company for two representatives, depending on firm size. There is a $250 fee per additional company participant. The fee covers all in-country travel and one-on-one meetings, but mission participants will be responsible for travel to and from Montreal, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by February 1, 2012. Companies are encouraged to apply early as space is limited. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Gina Rebelo Bento of the USFCS, tel.: (514) 908-3660; e-mail: gina.bento@trade.gov.

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Alternative Aviation Fuels Create Big Buzz at 2011 Paris Air Show

July 1, 2011
This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services (MAS) within the International Trade Administration (ITA).

The Paris Air Show once again proved to be an exciting venue for innovative technologies, particularly alternative fuels.  A highlight of the show was the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase, hosted in the U.S. Pavilion.  In addition to myself and Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, a number of senior U.S. government officials, including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, stopped by the booth to chat with U.S. companies about their new technologies.

The Showcase was the center of attention on Wednesday, when the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and Kallman Worldwide hosted an entire day dedicated to attracting investment for the commercial production of alternative jet fuels.  My Aerospace Team has been collaborating with CAAFI and Kallman for six months to promote this event.  Their efforts proved very successful — over 100 people attended various portions of the day’s events, which included panels on the investment community’s perspective on alternative fuels and on government programs supporting biofuel development.

During my remarks at the Showcase’s investment day, I had the pleasure of introducing Barry Johnson, the recently appointed head of the new SelectUSA initiative, a government-wide initiative housed in the Department of Commerce.  President Obama created SelectUSA on June 17 to showcase the United States and encourage, facilitate, and accelerate business investment in the United States.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (left), ITA Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (right) and AltAir Founder and CEO Tom Todaro (middle) at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase at the 2011 Paris Air Show.  Photo Courtesy of Kallman Worldwide.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (left), ITA Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (right) and AltAir Founder and CEO Tom Todaro (middle) at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase at the 2011 Paris Air Show. Photo Courtesy of Kallman Worldwide.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earned the distinction as the first U.S. Agriculture Secretary to attend a Paris Air Show.  In his remarks to aviation business leaders, Secretary Vilsack indicated that President Obama is planning a major announcement in the “next 30 days or so” regarding the U.S. government’s effort to help develop biofuel.  The Secretary also highlighted U.S. government support for aviation alternative fuels through USDA’s memoranda of understanding with several government and aviation-related agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Air Transport Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Navy, on efforts to research and develop renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it.

Throughout the week there were a number of exciting announcements related to alternative fuels.  U.S. company Gulfstream completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and petroleum fuel.  The Gulfstream G450 is the first business jet powered by a biofuel and the flight set a record as the first biofuel-powered transatlantic flight.  Later that week, Boeing flew its 747-800 using a fuel with a 15 percent blend of bio to petroleum fuel.  Both fuels were produced by Honeywell Aerospace.  In addition, seven airlines signed letters of intent to negotiate purchase of biomass-derived jet fuel from California-based Solena Fuels.  Another U.S. company, Sapphire Energy, announced that it will produce 20,000 barrels of algae-based jet fuel in two years with the goal of producing at commercially viable levels within seven years.

The companies in the Showcase promoted biofuels as a technically viable replacement for conventional petroleum jet fuels and as a way to help the airline industry reduce its carbon footprint.  In fact, alternative jet fuels could soon be used to power commercial flights.  This summer the standard setting body, ASTM International, is widely expected to certify Hydrotreated Renewable Jet (HRJ) fuel.  HRJ is processed from weedy plants and animal fats and is chemically identical to the crude oil that runs today’s flights.  Following ASTM certification, companies would have a greater incentive to build bio-refineries to produce HRJ fuel on a commercial scale.  In addition to HRJ, another pathway being researched is Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) — fuels derived from alcohol-based sources.  Touted as a low-cost route to production of jet fuel, ATJ research is being funded and conducted by the U.S. military and by U.S. companies such as GEVO and SRI International.  Full certification of ATJ by ASTM is expected by 2013.

One green initiative that I am particularly proud of involves my hometown of Detroit, Michigan, which is using its land to farm bioenergy crops.  The Wayne County Airport Authority, operator of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, has agreed to partner with Michigan State University Extension to grow, harvest, and process bioenergy crops on the property of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and another of the authority’s airports, Willow Run.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is supporting the project with a $476,000 grant.  If successful, the project will attract businesses in the area to produce alternative fuels, bring economic development to southeast Michigan and protect land around the airports.

The desire for cleaner, more sustainable fuel sources is a global concern, and everyone on the planet will benefit from reduced dependence on petroleum fuels.  ITA is committed to fostering a green economy so that industry will lead the way in winning the jobs of the future.  As President Obama said, we must seize the moment and accelerate the transition to clean energy.  We, in ITA, will continue to work with U.S. aviation alternative fuel companies and our interagency partners to support this objective.  It was exciting to be part of this event and to support a rapidly growing industry in which the United States is a global leader!

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U.S. Aerospace Industry Goes Big at the 2011 Paris Air Show

June 16, 2011

Jonathan Chesebro is an International Trade Specialist for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration. He is a member of the Aerospace Team and focuses on analysis and promotion of the aerospace industry.

On June 20, the Department of Commerce and the global aerospace industry will descend upon Le Bourget Exhibition Center in Paris France for the 49th annual Paris Air Show (PAS), the world’s largest aerospace trade exhibition in 2011.  Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, will lead the Department of Commerce delegation to support the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and the U.S. aerospace industry.  The show attracts the participation of CEOs from the major U.S. and foreign aerospace companies as well as high-level government officials from around the world.

SALON DU BOURGET 2009 THE PARIS AIRSHOW 2009

Salon du Bourget 2009 The Paris Airshow 2009

With over 2,000 exhibitors, 340,000 visitors, and 200 international delegations in attendance, the show provides the ideal opportunity for ITA to partner with U.S. industry to support NEI goals, advocate for U.S aerospace companies bidding on contracts and hold policy discussions with foreign governments.  In addition, ITA will exchange views with Congressional and state delegations attending the trade show.

The U.S. aerospace industry is internationally competitive and is the largest in the world.  The industry includes the manufacturing of civil and military aircraft, missiles, space vehicles, and parts of all of the foregoing.  Despite the lingering effects of the global economic downturn, the industry continued to show reasonable strength in 2010, contributing $78 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy.  The industry’s positive trade balance of $44 billion is the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry and came from exporting 42 percent of all aerospace production and 72 percent of civil aircraft and component production.

According to a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, aerospace supports more jobs through exports than any other industry.  The U.S. aerospace industry directly supports about 430,000 jobs and indirectly supports more than 700,000 additional jobs.  In addition, U.S. aerospace workers are well-paid, earning 47 percent more than manufacturing workers generally

Foreign firms are attracted to the U.S. aerospace market because it is the largest in the world and has a skilled workforce, extensive distribution systems, diverse products, and strong support at the local and national level for policy and promotion.  Industry estimates indicate that the annual increase in the number of large commercial airplanes added to the worldwide fleet over the next 20 years will be 3.2 percent per year for a total of 30,900 valued at $3.6 trillion at list prices.

The Commerce Department has been actively supporting U.S. aerospace industry competitiveness through a series of recent events.  In June 2010, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale delivered keynote remarks during the “ExportNow: New Markets, New Jobs for Kansas” event where more than 150 companies, learned about the economic opportunities of international trade.  U.S. aerospace companies Hawker Beechcraft Corporation and Spirit Aero Systems were among those in attendance, as well as the National Center for Aviation Training, which opened in 2010 and provides training in the areas of general aviation manufacturing and aircraft and power plant mechanics.  Wichita is a major U.S. aerospace manufacturing cluster and is home to hundreds of aerospace companies that employ over 40,000 people.

Another area where the Commerce Department is supporting U.S. aerospace industry competitiveness is in the area of foreign direct investment.  In February 2010, Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez participated in the opening ceremony for a new Embraer assembly facility in Melbourne, Florida.  Embraer is a Brazilian manufacturer of commercial, general aviation, and defense aircraft, and this new plant will employ up to 200 people from the area and represents a $50 million investment.  This significant investment supports the President’s NEI goals since some of the facilities products will be exported.  It also demonstrates the competitiveness of the U.S. aerospace industry in the global marketplace since Embraer chose to invest in the U.S. rather than in another market.

ITA has also worked with Boeing’s Supplier Management Office to organize a webinar for U.S. aerospace companies that discussed how to participate in Boeing’s global supply chain, which includes over 22,000 small, medium, and large companies.  In addition, ITA organized a webinar with Airbus procurement officials and over 200 companies where Airbus officials discussed the company’s procurement strategy and how U.S. companies can become part of its supply chain.

The U.S. aerospace industry is a significant contributor to U.S. exports, jobs and economic growth, which is why the industry is a priority sector under the NEI.  The more that U.S. aerospace companies export, the more they produce, and the more workers they need.

Stay tuned for a second article on the Paris Air Show!

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ITA Signs Agreement to Promote U.S. Aerospace Manufacturing

September 20, 2010

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Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist within ITA’s Commercial Service currently on detail in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs.  He has helped hundreds of U.S. companies of all sizes find success in overseas markets and produced a number of instructional videos and webinars that help firms navigate the path to successful sales.

The job creation sign is illuminated

Airlines worldwide will need fleets of new airplanes, fuel-sipping jet engines, spare parts and related technology to fly all 7 billion of us around the world to meet each other.

The U.S. is a leader in all of these things but our companies often need help from the federal government winning orders in other countries and cutting red tape.  With more orders, we can put more Americans back to work in addition to preserving the jobs of folks already on the job.  This is a global industry and a fiercely competitive one.

Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret

Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret prepare to sign the agreement allowing their respective organizations to work together to promote aerospace manufacturing and exports

So it was good news last week when Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret agreed to work together to help the U.S. aerospace manufacturing industry become even more competitive.

“The President has called on us to double U.S. exports and this agreement will help us increase the performance of U.S. aerospace companies,” said Lamb-Hale. “I am particularly pleased that we can do this during National Aerospace Week, which highlights the significant contribution of U.S. aerospace to the nation’s security and economic growth.”

As public-private cooperative efforts this should be a good one, supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and ITA’s Manufacture America Program, a series of conferences designed to help American manufacturers by exploring new products, markets, processes and sources of finance.  The agreement also supports National Aerospace Week (NAW) which takes place from September 12-18 and is being organized by the Aerospace Industries Association. ITA and ERAU will work together on a wide range of activities including industry outreach events and industry analysis.

Dr. Watret was equally enthusiastic about the agreement and need for the project: “Embry-Riddle is delighted to cooperate with the Department of Commerce to promote U.S. aerospace manufacturing, an industry that is critical to the U.S. economy.”

7 billion people: Think of all the new customers for in-flight movies produced by Hollywood film companies.  It’s time for more public-private initiatives.

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Sustainable Manufacturing Tour

July 15, 2009

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Acting U.S. Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Mary Saunders is leading a tour of four Seattle-area manufacturing facilities as part of the department’s Sustainability 360 initiative. The tour, Sustainability 360: An Aerospace Supply Chain Event, is designed to showcase the benefits of sustainable manufacturing throughout an aerospace manufacturing supply chain.

Sustainability 360

We just concluded our first Sustainability 360 event here in Seattle and the experience was outstanding – lots of good practical examples of how implementing sustainable manufacturing practices can reduce environmental impact and improve the bottom line for businesses.  Sustainability 360 is what we are calling our regional tours of manufacturing facilities operating at various points in the supply chain, in this case the aerospace supply chain.  Our sustainable manufacturing and aerospace teams in Manufacturing and Services worked with the U.S.  Export Assistance Center and Washington Manufacturing Services, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center in the area, to put together a tour of four companies who are at various stages in their sustainability journey, to share their lessons learned and best practices with other local companies.

Participants visiting the new facility of Tyee Aircraft, a producer of aerospace components.  Tyee has incorporated sustainable principles into its lean manufacturing practices with zero waste water release, energy efficient lighting, and recycling programs.

Participants visiting the new facility of Tyee Aircraft, a producer of aerospace components. Tyee has incorporated sustainable principles into its lean manufacturing practices with zero waste water release, energy efficient lighting, and recycling programs. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo.)

We toured Puget Sound Energy, Tyee Aircraft, Goodrich Aerostructures and The Boeing Company, along with 24 local company representatives.  And we learned a tremendous amount.  For instances, successful companies are those that are “purpose driven”, with management and employees working toward a common goal.  Sustainability takes into account the interest of the company itself in becoming more competitive; as well as the interests of investors, suppliers, customers and the community in which it operates.  Ideas for improving sustainability can come from anyone in the company and even from suppliers and customers.  There are no bad ideas.  Sustainable Manufacturing practices save money and help grow business.

I have toured factory floors before, but I have never seen this much energy and enthusiasm, in companies ranging in size from a little more than a 100 employees to several thousand.  Today’s program reinforced the practical value of the departments’ Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative and the value of public-private partnership in advancing the competitiveness of U. S. industry.  What a hands on- way to spread the message to U.S. manufactures nationwide that sustainable manufacturing practices can deliver triple-win solutions that benefit U. S. firms, the communities in which they operate and the environment.

Mary Saunders giving her opening remarks for the Sustainability 360 event at utility Puget Sound Energy. PSE's 2008 energy efficiency work will result in annual savings for its customers of $30 million a year.

Mary Saunders giving her opening remarks for the Sustainability 360 event at utility Puget Sound Energy. PSE’s 2008 energy efficiency work will result in annual savings for its customers of $30 million a year. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo.)

Sustainable manufacturing is an area where the U.S. maintains a global competitive advantage.  Not only are we the largest producer of clean technologies globally, we are also a leader in creating cutting edge, lean and clean manufacturing practices throughout industry  supply chains.  I am looking forward to our continued work in helping to spread the sustainable manufacturing message nationwide.  For information on this initiative and its three components, take a look at http://www.manufacturing.gov/sustainability.  Let us know what you think.

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