Aerospace Exports Hit Record
The U.S. exported aircraft and related aerospace goods worth more than $97 billion in 2007, a hefty 14-percent increase over the previous year’s total of $85 billion and a rare bright spot in the U.S. economy. "Airlines from around the world are stocking up on U.S. aircraft because of growing demand in both emerging and established markets," Marion Blakey, CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, said. "This is a very hot market despite economic uncertainty." The AIA deals mainly with airline-related business but GA manufacturers have been reporting major increases in sales in many of the same markets that are creating the boom for airliners. According to the AIA, U.S. imports of aerospace goods have also increased to $36.5 billion from $30.5 billion. GA imports account for a small fraction of the U.S. market but there is one aviation sector in which the U.S. is virtually dependent on imports. The AIA says much of the increase in imports is from regional airliners. The figures add up to an aerospace trade surplus of about $60.4 billion, which makes the country’s balance sheet look a little better, Blakey said. "Our industry's track record as a major net export earner for the United States helps to offset the nation's chronic trade deficit," she said.