Chandra Brown is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing in the International Trade Administration.
I recently had the great pleasure of meeting many impressive US manufacturers, as well as former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, at the 50th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Field. Buzz is a key figure in American aerospace and was part of one of the United States’ greatest accomplishments—landing men on the moon. Meeting him was a reminder of America’s long tradition of leadership in aerospace manufacturing.
I was thrilled to see that legacy on full display at the U.S. International Pavilion in Paris. There were 264 American companies representing 34 states exhibiting in the Pavilion this year, and 75 of those companies had never been to the show before. During the week of the air show, these firms had the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 2,000 companies from around the world, learn about new aircraft programs directly from major manufacturers, and mix with potential government customers from key aviation markets.
The International Trade Administration worked closely with Pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide to help our exhibitors get the most out of the show. Industry experts and commercial specialists from around the world were on hand to counsel U.S. companies about their specific exporting needs. We organized a series of tours for foreign delegations interested in meeting with our firms. We worked with our colleagues at the Bureau of Industry and Security to provide the latest information on the Obama administration’s export control reform effort. We also met with representatives from both industry and government to promote foreign direct investment in the U.S. aerospace industry and the alternative jet fuels industry, and to advocate for U.S. companies competing for foreign government sales.
At the International Trade Administration, we know companies engaged in international business are stronger than those that are purely domestic. This is particularly true for the aerospace industry, which has the highest positive trade balance of any U.S. manufacturing industry. My mission as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing is to make sure U.S. aerospace firms and other U.S. manufacturers are able to compete fairly on the global stage. ITA’s efforts at the Paris Air Show will help make that mission a success!
I hope all manufacturers will take advantage of trade missions to expand their business. You can find a list of upcoming missions here.