A Prescription for China’s Aerospace Threat

In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, IAM Director of Trade and Globalization Owen Herrnstadt described how Western aerospace companies are providing China with billions in tools and technologies that are certain to cost U.S. aerospace jobs.

“The outsourcing of aerospace and related work to China poses a threat to U.S. aerospace workers and the U.S. industrial base in four different but related ways,” said Herrnstadt. “First, jobs that may be associated with the transfer of technology and production are lost; second, the skills that accompany the transfers are lost leading to a further decline in our industrial base; third, additional jobs could be lost in the future as China utilizes the transfer from the U.S. to create and strengthen its own aerospace companies that will compete directly with U.S. companies; and fourth, the technology and production that would have lead to more U.S. jobs through the development of innovative products is lost.”

Click here to read the full testimony.

Herrnstadt called on policy makers to focus on ways to minimize the growing threat of China’s aerospace industry by undertaking efforts to curtail outsourcing of aerospace and related work to China. Among other things, he proposed a framework that collects accurate information regarding the precise number of U.S. jobs that are lost due to China’s growing aerospace industry.

Additional IAM recommendations include implementation of mechanisms to determine with precision the employment impact of transfers of technology and production on the domestic workforce; establish an effective and speedy system to track all parts and materials used by domestic aerospace and aviation companies; mandate fully transparent and uniform domestic content requirements that support domestic jobs; review China’s aerospace industry for a possible trade complaint and raise China’s use of transfers of technology and production in bilateral and multilateral dialogues.