The United States will continue to lose some of its share of the world aerospace market in future years, but it can remain the overall leader if major corporations establish international alliances and the nation strongly backs its aerospace companies, according to an industry study released Wednesday.
The current U.S. share of the world aerospace market has fallen to 60% from a peak of 73% in 1985, according to the Aerospace Industries Assn. Even so, U.S. aerospace sales of $131 billion in 1990 provided "one of the fundamental sources of America's economic strength and world leadership," the report says.
European nations gained market share, to 33% of world sales from 21% in 1985, according to the report. The totals do not include the market share of former communist countries.
One of the major areas of U.S. market loss was in exports of completed aircraft and aircraft parts. European manufacturers--primarily the Airbus Industrie consortium--made considerable gains in that sector.
At least part of the fall in U.S. market share was due to the decline in U.S. defense spending, which overwhelms European and Japanese spending, the report notes. But the U.S. share of the world export market shows the same downward trend.
The association set out a lengthy agenda for strengthening the American aerospace industry's position. Among its recommendations:
* Creating superior products faster and at lower cost than competitors.
* Establishing an investment climate that supports a strong industrial and technology base.
* Bolstering education to achieve a high-caliber work force.
* Removing barriers to trade.
* Implementing export policies that "make national security and market sense."