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Aerospace Manufacturing Picks Up in the US

Feb. 12, 2015
Boeing, working to keep costs to a minimum, has cut back on what it outsources to make its new 787 Dreamliner, moving more of the production in-house.

Aerospace manufacturing has rebounded in the United States with more than $25 billion in investments since 2012.

The consulting firm ICF International released its study analyzing more than 2,000 investment transactions. It showed production jobs and manufacturing work that had been moving to China and other markets, have been moving to the U.S. over the last three years.

ICF aviation consultant Kevin Michaels calls the move “rightshoring,” as relative costs in the U.S. have come more in line with China. He credits that with more automation in factories, lower energy costs and rising wage rates in China.

"The U.S. has been a magnet for new aerospace investment," Michaels said. "Boeing is looking at doing more of the aero structures in its own factories."

Other countries are still big players in the industry and that won’t change, according to Michaels, who noted China’s huge workforce and Mexico’s importance as a supplier of parts.

But when it comes to new investment in the field he said, "The U.S. at this point in time has become the hot spot in aerospace manufacturing. Three years ago it looked like everything was heading to China. Now that's changed."

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