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New data finds supply chain generates majority of U.S. A&D exports; foreign A&D customers crucial to American manufacturing

Farnborough, England and Washington, D.C. / July 11, 2016 — America’s steadfast commitment to international trade in aerospace and defense was prominently on display at the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow today, punctuated by the first official flyover of the event by a Lockheed Martin F-35, and the opening of The Boeing Company’s Centennial Pavilion to launch its “second century of aerospace.”

Hand-in-hand with the marquee-name manufacturers exhibiting at the show this week, America’s supply chain, largely comprised of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 250 employees, stands out as the unsung hero of the U.S. A&D export economy.

According to new data compiled by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the A&D industry is the third largest U.S. exporter, accounting for $142 billion, last year — nine percent of all American exports, and a trade surplus of $81 billion. In 2014, the supply chain generated 58% of the nation’s total A&D exports, $78 billion.

The numbers, summarized in a new AIA infographic, affirm the crucial importance of global partnerships and investment to America’s A&D manufacturing base, led by supply chain companies whose technologies and innovations can be found on tens of thousands of programs and platforms around the world.

Click here for the summary infographic of the AIA data.

The U.S. aerospace and defense industry benefits significantly from increased demand for U.S. civil aviation, satellite, and defense products generated by greater economic linkages with other parts of the world,” said AIA CEO David Melcher. “Trade agreements like TPP and T-TIP as well as the level playing field provided by the U.S. ExIm Bank not only help secure the initial sale of major systems and platforms produced by large companies, but ensure that U.S. small- and medium-sized companies can generate exports for decades more to keep this equipment operating effectively and efficiently.” At Farnborough, the competitive scope and scale of U.S. technology and innovation is on full display, with 360-plus American exhibitors on site, nearly one-quarter of the show’s projected total, the largest international contingent outside of the U.K. More than 220 are exhibiting in the U.S. International Pavilion, representing 31 states, including 14 state pavilions. Fifty-five percent of Pavilion exhibitors are SMEs.

“Farnborough 2016 is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for America’s finest aerospace companies to showcase their latest technologies and remind global firms of the many reasons they should look to the United States to find new suppliers and expand their operations,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “Our strong workforce, consistent investments in research and development, proven track record of safety, and access to overseas markets make the United States the best place in the world for global aerospace companies to do business.”

Speaking alongside Melcher at the opening of the Pavilion, Pritzker underscored the role the public sector plays in supporting innovation in the aerospace industry.

“The American private sector is not alone in its quest to create 21st Century tools for the aerospace industry. Our public sector significantly contributes to research and development in partnership with our world-class universities and laboratories,” she said. “For example, agencies like DARPA and NASA are collaborating with U.S. entrepreneurs to creatively address engineering problems in rocket propulsion and in-orbit operations. At the same time, state governments are working to create welcoming environments for foreign investment in aerospace and other sectors. Such resources and collaborations add measurable, competitive value for U.S. companies across the supply chain.”

From high-profile multinational programs such as the F-35, to more discreet partnerships such as Essex Industries’ recently announced UAE and Asian distribution agreements or the Dual

Diploma Master of Engineering Degree program announced by the University of Cincinnati and France’s University of Bordeaux, U.S. exhibitors at Farnborough exemplify America’s full-spectrum approach to global trade and national defense.

"Today's opening, and the U.S. participation in the Farnborough Airshow highlights the strength of the US commitment to the security of NATO, our long-lasting and continuing alliance with the U.K., and demonstrates our interoperability with allies and partners from around the world," said General Frank Gorenc, USAF, Commander U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa.“Strong trade partnerships that leverage the best of American technology and innovation deliver the ultimate return on investment: Jobs,” said Tom Kallman, president and CEO of U.S. International Pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide, Inc. “From OEMs to SMEs, America’s ultimate capability is our aerospace and defense workforce. Our challenge is to ensure that as we implement new strategies to protect our economy and national security, we always have the best-trained and most-skilled professionals to do the work.”

Acknowledging industry-wide interest in the topic of training and workforce development, Kallman will present “Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovation,” a panel discussion and public forum planned for Thursday, July 14 at 9 a.m. in The Hub, a new thought-leadership forum the Pavilion organizer is hosting in Hall 3, in partnership with its Farnborough Airshow counterparts.

“Our industry is at the forefront of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math education — to keep us all competitive in the global economy. We hope that bringing this discussion to the exhibit floor at Farnborough will help inform the year-round, worldwide conversation about how aerospace and defense can continue to attract, train and retain the world’s best talent,” Kallman said.

The Hub is open to all trade visitors. Click here for a complete schedule of presentations in The Hub.


Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.


Export with purpose. Exhibit with confidence. Kallman Worldwide is an export marketing advocate focused on helping the United States of America and its leading businesses capitalize on international trade shows and events to grow their share of global markets. Our flagship U.S. International Pavilion programs cover all the details of creating and presenting a professional  business environment to buyers, enabling exhibitors, clients and partners to make the most of  their event opportunities, cultivate meaningful global business relationships and account for a measurable return on their export marketing investment.

Since 1963, Kallman has helped more than 10,000 companies, associations and government agencies stand out at nearly 1,000 industry and professional events in 46 countries. The company is headquartered in Waldwick, N.J., and staffs a Latin America office in Santiago, Chile, where it also owns and operates the U.S. Regional Trade Center. For more information visit

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