Wilbur L.Ross, Introduced by Tom Kallman, President and CEO of Kallman Worldwide, organizer of the USA Partnership Pavilion.
Thank you, Tom, for that kind introduction, and thank you and your staff for all of the work you are doing to organize and promote U.S. participation at the Paris Air Show.
It is my pleasure to be here to discuss the U.S. government’s engagement in the Show. It will be the largest and most dramatic ever, as is reflected by the fact that our aerospace and space industries are more vibrant than they have ever been.
The U.S. has the largest and most competitive aerospace and outer-space industries, and that is why 350 American companies will attend this year’s show in Paris.
Our industry has a lot to show off. American companies produce the most innovative, highest quality, highest value-added products, sold wherever there are flying machines. The U.S. aerospace sector has the largest trade surplus of any other American manufacturing industry, at $88 billion last year. And, of total U.S. aerospace production last year of $215 billion, a very large portion of that output — $150 billion — or 70 percent, was exported. We are the largest exporter of aerospace equipment in the world.
We will have a strong contingent of Federal government officials attending the Paris Air Show, including myself. There will be representatives from the Department of Defense, the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army; the departments of State and Homeland Security; as well as the FAA, NASA, and the Export and Import Bank.
We look forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, with the presence of three Apollo astronauts who were part of those missions: Walt Cunningham from Apollo 7; Charlie Duke from Apollo 16; And Col. Al Worden, the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971, from whom we will hear shortly. It is great to be in the presence of the pioneering individuals who circled and walked on the Moon.
Fifty years have gone by without our returning. Today, a majority of Americans — 211.6 million, or 65 percent — were born after 1969, and have no recollection of the Moon landing and the excitement it generated the world over. We need to change that; and we’re going to change it fast.
President Trump has directed that that we put astronauts back on the Moon by 2024, and this time it will not just be men, but also women. The key message we intend to deliver in Paris is that the U.S. aerospace industry is stronger than it’s ever been, and that partnerships are important in a world where there are alternative views about the future of space. Within the Trump administration and the Commerce Department, we see the future of space as overwhelmingly commercial. This is why we will meet later this month — on June 26th and 27th — at the Space Enterprise Summit, which I will co-host with Secretary Pompeo, in Washington, D.C.
There is a lot happening in the area of commercial space. NASA will be announcing new contracting opportunities tomorrow for the International Space Station. And, I understand that the National Reconnaissance Office has announced new contracts with the commercial remote sensing industry, with companies like Maxar Technologies, Planet, and BlackSky Global.
Last month, I signed a wide-ranging space MOU with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This MOU is indicative of the partnerships required to expand the space industry from its current level of $400 billion to $1 trillion. GPS, earth imaging, telecommunications, asteroid mining, manufacturing, space tourism, and exploration all depend on space safety, space situational awareness, and the safe operation of satellites.
Our Paris message is that all space-faring nations must work together on common issues, such as tracking the thousands of pieces of space debris that could stifle the commercialization of space.
Our country has experienced an incredible re-awaking of its commercial space industry. Today, thanks to the infusion of new blood, new thinking, and a youthful cadre of enthusiastic engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, the U.S. space industry is being transformed.
In the tradition that has defined this industry since brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to fly, a new generation of entrepreneurs now dominate the majority of space activity. For these companies to reach their potential, it is the U.S. government’s job to eliminate the regulatory barriers to growth.
We look forward to working with other countries at creating the conditions by which these industries can flourish.
I look forward to being in Paris to work with so many innovative companies, and meeting officials from other governments and their space agencies, to foster the technical, regulatory, and financial conditions for the global space economy to grow and prosper. Thank you.