In celebration of National Aerospace Week’s fifth anniversary, I would like to applaud the U.S. aerospace community on its contributions to our country’s national security and economic prosperity. The American aerospace and defense industry helps form the backbone of our nation’s technological edge. They deserve our recognition for making the industry the world’s leader in aerospace innovation and helping to protect American service members in every part of the globe.
The aerospace and defense industry also is an important contributor to our economy and directly employs nearly one million Americans and supports another 2.5 million jobs acrossthe country. The U.S. Department of Commerce also recognizes the industry’s positive contribution to our historic export growth through $110 billion in export sales and keeping the United States more competitive in the global marketplace.
President Obama and I are committed to increasing American exports, which continue to drive our economic recovery. Today, 11.3 million U.S. jobs are now supported by exports and reached a record total of $2.3 trillion in 2013. In May, I announced that the Obama Administration will build on the success of theNational Export Initiative (NEI) by launching NEI/NEXT
, a customer service-driven strategy with improved information on resources that will ensure American businesses are fully able to capitalize on expanded opportunities to sell their goods and services abroad. We look forward to working with the aerospace industry to continue this strong export growth and to expand on opportunities in global markets in which 95 percent of the customers reside.
The Department of Commerce is honored to work with the Aerospace Industries Association of America and other government agencies on important strategies to provide U.S. aerospace companies with the best chance to succeed in the foreign marketplace.
With ourengagement with this critical industry, the American aerospace and defense industry and the nation as a whole will undoubtedly soar to even greater heights and continue strengthening American innovation and competitiveness in the years to come.