Congressman Joe Courtney and Andrew Gibson, CEO of Chester-based Aerocision--an aerospace engine parts manufacturer--today applauded the Obama Administration's announcement of the next key steps in rebuilding the nation's export controls. Gibson participated in a trade mission hosted by Rep. Courtney and the U.S. Department of Commerce to the United Kingdom in 2011.
Through the trade missions he has conducted with Connecticut companies, Courtney has seen firsthand the challenges small and mid-sized defense and aerospace manufacturing firms face in attempting to do businesses abroad. Too often, the complexity and cumbersome bureaucracy of today's outdated system regulating the oversea sale of sensitive military parts prevents businesses from seeking export opportunities. The reform is meant to ease the flow of exports to U.S. allies, which would allow American companies to better compete in the global marketplace, grow their business and bolster our economy.
"Over the past six years, I have worked to connect dozens of small and mid-sized businesses from eastern Connecticut with export opportunities across the globe," said Congressman Courtney. "While many of those new relationships have opened new markets and led to growth at home, too often--particularly in the defense industry--businesses ran into road blocks and bureaucratic red tape that choked progress before it even began. Today's announcement is a positive step toward correcting that problem through long-overdue reform of our nation's Cold War era export control rules. It will create new growth opportunities for American businesses abroad and bolster not just job creation, but innovation in eastern Connecticut."
"Our exports of turbine engine parts to Europe have doubled since the UK trade mission with Congressman Courtney, resulting in 10 new high-skilled wage jobs, an expansion of 15,000 feet and a dozen brand new CNC machines," said Andrew Gibson, Aerocision CEO. "The downside is the expensive administrative cost of exporting product outside our shores. There is a clear need to protect American technology; however, the commercial parts we manufacture are not unique. Not streamlining the licensing rules, especially with friendly countries, is akin to adding a freeway where the cart-path used to be, and yet maintaining the same 15-oxen-per-hour speed limit."
Congress now has 30 days to review the modifications, which include revision to category 8 (aircraft), the creation of category 19 (turbines), and a variety of new management mechanisms, before the final rules will be published.