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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!