Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale
Manufacturing and Services
U.S. Pavilion NEI Event
Paris Air Show
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
As prepared for delivery
Hello, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here with you today. I want to thank Kallman Worldwide, and particularly Gerri Cozic, for arranging this meeting today.
To the companies here this morning, I appreciate your contributions to competitiveness and trade challenges that you face in the current economy. All of you here today are partners in the endeavor to ensure continuing U.S. leadership in global aerospace manufacturing, innovation, and technology.
Exporting is good for American business, good for American workers and communities, and good for American jobs. That is why President Obama launched the National Export Initiative or NEI, which set the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 to support millions of jobs here at home. Helping U.S. companies become more competitive internationally is a critical step to “winning the future.”
There have, of course, been previous efforts by the federal government to promote exports. What sets the NEI apart is that it is the first time the United States has a Presidential-led, government-wide export promotion strategy.
U.S. companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, often face hurdles when trying to close an export sale, including lack of readily available information about exporting and market research, challenges obtaining export financing, strong competition from foreign companies and obstacles thrown up by foreign governments. This suggests an important role for the federal government.
The NEI is the Obama Administration’s commitment to serve as a full partner with U.S. businesses to promote American-made goods and services worldwide, within global trading rules. The NEI is focused on (1) improving trade advocacy and export promotion efforts; (2) increasing access to credit, especially for small and medium-sized businesses; (3) removing barriers to the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad; (4) robustly enforcing trade rules; and (5) pursuing policies at the global level to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth.
Exports contributed greatly to growing our economy in 2010, and supported over 9 million U.S. jobs. U.S. exports of goods and services in 2010 increased nearly 17% over 2009 -- the largest year-to-year percentage change in over 20 years. This puts us on pace to achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014.
Exports comprised 12.5% of U.S. GDP in 2010, up from the 11.2% recorded in 2009.
The $1.83 trillion total in 2010 exports of U.S. goods and services represents the second highest annual total on record.
We remain on pace to achieve the National Export Initiative goal in 2011.
ITA is taking a sectoral approach to developing a winning strategy to achieve the President’s NEI export goals, based on the recognition that — while government can do what it can to assist—it is companies that do the exporting and specific products that win markets.
It will come as no surprise that aerospace — as our leading export sector — is also a top priority sector for the NEI. In addition to our continuing efforts to promote the sale of aircraft, the new wrinkle here is that our strategy will also be offensive.
By that I mean we will also focus on the aerospace supply chain and expanding U.S. supplier participation in global supply chains that will serve traditional airframe producers in the U.S. and Europe but also emerging producers.
The goal of the NEI aerospace strategy is to show how the U.S. aerospace industry can help achieve NEI goals by identifying opportunities, challenges, growth factors, and policy actions that ITA can take to enhance U.S. aerospace industry competitiveness.
To achieve NEI goals, I participated in an ITA led webinar with Boeing’s Supplier Management Office that discussed how U.S. aerospace companies can participate in Boeing’s global supply chain, which includes 22,000 suppliers and partners. 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. Boeing’s Janice Greene has also been an active participant in Commerce’s Manufacture America Initiative, which aims to connect U.S. manufacturers with resources to help them be more competitive in the global marketplace.
The strategy identifies ten key export markets, including India, Brazil, China, Russia, Canada, Japan, the European Union, South Korea, Turkey, the Gulf Region (including U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia).
We selected these markets because, in our view, they are areas where U.S. government engagement can make a significant difference in terms of creating and growing export opportunities for U.S. aerospace suppliers. For example:
In India, we are aiming to eliminate India’s combined tariff and other charges on general aviation aircraft. You may have noticed that this issue was prominently featured in Secretary Locke’s remarks during his recent visit to India.
In addition to this bilateral approach, we are also pressing hard for India to accede to the WTO Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft, which would require India to eliminate all tariffs on aerospace products and also eliminate its offset requirements. We see this as a cornerstone of a developing relationship with India as a maturing player in the global aerospace market. We will be focusing on convincing a number of other emerging producers—including Brazil, Russia and China—to join the agreement as well.
At the same time, through our Aviation Infrastructure Working Group, we are addressing the barriers to expanding India’s airport infrastructure and also facilitating U.S. supplier participation in this $20 billion dollar market.
In Brazil, we are working with an interagency team and aerospace industry groups in Brazil to put together an Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP) like the one we have with India and China. We have also identified some potentially very high aerospace tariffs in Brazil and will be working to have them brought down to zero. And we will work with the U.S. suppliers to Embraer to identify additional export opportunities for them in third countries.
In Canada, we are continuing to address the issue of subsidies to Bombardier and also looking at ways to expand U.S. supplier participation in the Bombardier supply chain.
With respect to Korea, we are working to encourage Congressional approval of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement by educating the public on the agreement’s economic benefits. The agreement will create thousands of new manufacturing jobs, further our national goal of doubling exports in five years, and demonstrate that the United States is once again ready to lead on global trade efforts.
At the same time, of course, we will continue our Advocacy efforts and our traditional trade promotion at events such as the Paris Air Show.
The ITA export strategies, led by my unit Manufacturing and Services, are the basis for an interagency effort to focus the full resources of the U.S. government focused on what really will make a difference for our priority industries. Because of our sectoral focus, and the fact that the competitive position of our priority industries is a starting point, we are relying on your advice and engagement more than ever.
Let me conclude by saying that I am committed to working with you to foster the aerospace manufacturing sector’s growth, support its competitiveness, and expand its exports.
We will continue to work hard within the Obama administration to enforce existing U.S. trade laws, as well as other trade obligations under our trade agreements.
We will also work to identify market opportunities for U.S. products and services.
You, as aerospace suppliers, are innovative and globally competitive. You employ the highly skilled workers that our country needs for leadership in the 21st century world economy. The markets with the highest potential, such as China, Brazil, and India, are also countries with rapidly developing aerospace capabilities. This means that it is not only an export opportunity, but also a competitive imperative that your companies factor export market development into your business planning.
Innovation, technology and productivity will continue to drive American aerospace manufacturing and that is precisely why the United States will in the words of President Obama, win the future.
Thank you again.
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