WASHINGTON ― The U.S. aerospace and defense industry was the global leader in exports of its type in 2017, accounting for 34 percent of industry exports, according to a recently released Aerospace Industries Association report.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the report finds the U.S. A&D industry generated $143 billion in exports last year.
Although slightly down from 2016’s near $146 billion high-water mark, overall A&D exports have increased 26 percent over the last five years.
The export of supply chain products such as engines, components and parts accounted for 56 percent of exports, totaling $80 billion.
China retained its status as the top purchaser of U.S. A&D products, buying $16.3 billion of U.S. goods. France and the United Kingdom ranked second and third, importing $12.9 billion and $10 billion, respectively.
In total, the A&D industry accounted for 9 percent of all U.S. exports, making it the nations third-largest gross exporter. The industry also generated an $86 billion trade surplus in 2017, the largest trade surplus of any U.S. industry.
Daniel Cebul is an editorial fellow and general assignments writer for Defense News, C4ISRNET, Fifth Domain and Federal Times.