From the first thread of upholstery for seat cushions to the final gallon of paint for the exterior, American manufacturers, large and small, are contributing to the construction of an airplane. While many Americans see an airplane as one item, it is really a feat of modern engineering and planning with thousands of parts being assembled all across America to create the single airplane. In fact, 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.
This week at the Paris Air Show, civil and military aircraft manufacturers and those engaged in the burgeoning space vehicle market will show off their products to buyers from all over the world. Selling internationally is vital for America to meet the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 in order to support millions of jobs. The aerospace industry contributed $78 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy in 2010. The industry’s 2010 positive trade balance of $44 billion is the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry and came from exporting 42% of all aerospace production and 72% of civil aircraft and component production.
For manufacturers looking to break into this market, ITA has also worked with Boeing’s Supplier Management Office to produce a webinar for U.S. aerospace companies that discussed how to participate in Boeing’s global supply chain. 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.
For all manufacturers, ITA has the Manufacture America Initiative that connects U.S. manufacturers with resources to help them be more competitive in the global marketplace, regardless of market. Boeing has been an active participant in the Manufacture America Initiative for the aerospace industry and the MAS Aerospace Team website is full of resources and contacts for U.S. aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers.