Posted at 12:38 PM
Last week, I was honored to represent the Department of Commerce at the 51st International Paris Air Show. The Paris Air Show is the largest in the world, attracting participation from high-level government officials from across the globe, and CEOs from major U.S. and foreign aerospace companies. Every two years, the air show in Paris is the best place to see the latest technologies in the aerospace industry and to meet potential business partners from around the world.
This year, the United States had the largest international pavilion at the show with 200 U.S. companies participating. The breadth and depth of technology on display made it obvious why each year the aerospace industry has the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry. In 2014, U.S. aerospace companies exported more than $138.4 billion worth of equipment to markets around the world, supporting more than 500,000 jobs across the country.
At the air show, U.S. companies had the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 2,200 companies from around the world. The International Trade Administration (ITA) has worked with pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide for more than 15 years to help U.S. exhibitors get the most out of the show. From June 15-18, industry experts and commercial specialists from ITA’s domestic and international teams were on hand in Paris to counsel companies and help them make connections well beyond Le Bourget Airfield. In the weeks leading up to the show, we conducted webinars for companies to help prepare them to maximize their participation in this year’s air show. Webinar topics included export controls, export financing, EU customs regulations, and air show logistics.
ITA was pleased to partner with our colleagues from the Departments of Defense and State to coordinate efforts to increase aerospace defense exports at this year’s air show. Working in concert with our partners improves our ability to facilitate success for U.S. companies, and helps to improve national security.
During the air show, I met with many government and company representatives to discuss their future plans and business goals. More and more, companies are realizing that success in the aerospace industry requires having a thoughtful plan for targeting opportunities beyond U.S. borders. In fact, the highest growth markets for aviation are outside North America, and with that growth comes additional business. Companies, and their governments, need to be prepared to navigate the accompanying challenges with expanded growth and increased business. I’m proud to say that ITA stands ready and able to help U.S. companies plan their export strategy, answer questions and address challenges head-on.
While in Paris, we had the opportunity to promote our upcoming National Aerospace FDI Exhibition. The event, which takes place in Los Angeles from October 26-28, will showcase the prowess of the American aerospace industry and highlight the many opportunities for investors. Our partner for this event is the Aerospace States Association, which brings together the combined efforts of U.S. state governments. We anticipate that this forum will create new business opportunities and new jobs in communities across the country. We look forward to seeing everyone in Los Angeles!