Guest Blog by Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
This week I have had the privilege of attending the 2011 Paris Air Show, the largest aerospace industry show in the world. Since arriving on Sunday, I’ve participated in numerous industry events, met with CEOs, governors, ministers, members of congress and association representatives.
Yesterday, I presided over the opening ceremony for the U.S. Pavilion with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood, Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye, Alabama senator Richard Shelby, and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. More than 200 U.S. companies are displaying their innovative and forward-thinking technology here.
The U.S. aerospace industry is a strategic contributor to the economy, national security, and technological innovation of the United States The industry contributed $78 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy in 2010 and is important to achieve the goals of the President’s export initiative.
The aerospace sector in the United States supports more jobs through exports than any other industry.
Earlier today I witnessed a signing ceremony between Boeing and Aeroflot, Russia’s state-owned airline. Aeroflot has ordered eight 777s valued at $2.1 billion, and the sales will support approximately 14,000 jobs in the United States.
The American companies represented in the U.S. International Pavilion demonstrate the innovation and hard work that makes us leaders in this sector. I am particularly pleased to see the incredible accomplishments of U.S. companies participating in the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase, which demonstrates our leadership in this important sector and shows that we are on the right path to achieving the clean energy future envisioned by President Obama.
The U.S. aerospace industry ranks among the most competitive in the world, boasting a positive trade balance of $44.1 billion – the largest trade surplus of any U.S. manufacturing industry. It directly sustains about 430,000 jobs, and indirectly supports more than 700,000 additional jobs. Ninety-one percent of U.S. exporters of aerospace products are small and medium-sized firms.
The 2011 Paris Air Show is the world’s largest aerospace trade exhibition, and features 2,000 exhibitors, 340,000 visitors, and 200 international delegations.