U.S. construction equipment exports increased 43 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year for a total $23.5 billion of machinery shipped to other nations, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). This follows growth of 28 percent in 2010 after a 2009 decline of 38 percent in the depths of the recession.
"Export sales continue to help U.S. construction equipment manufacturers stay open for business and sustain American jobs, especially with the domestic construction sector still recovering,” said Al Cervero, AEM vice president construction sector.
AEM and its I Make America campaign have pushed for export-friendly policies that create and sustain American jobs. These include free trade agreements such as the U.S.-Korea FTA being implemented, which will eliminate export duties on about 80 percent of U.S. industrial products and about 67 percent of U.S. farm-related products.
In recent AEM action, the association is calling for congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, with an increased exposure cap so more companies can benefit from its services. Ex-Import Bank is self-sustaining. It focuses on small to medium-size businesses, since private lenders many times are unable or unwilling to extend them financing and insurance support.
Exports to Australia/Oceania led the way in 2011 with a 73-percent gain as the region took delivery of $2.8 billion of U.S.-made construction equipment. Construction machinery exports to South America increased 39 percent in 2011 with purchases worth $4.3 billion, and exports of construction equipment to Central America gained 23 percent and totaled $2.0 billion.
Export sales to Asia grew 44 percent to total $3.1 billion for 2011, and Africa’s purchases of U.S. construction machinery increased 41 percent to total $1.3 billion last year. Exports of construction equipment to Europe gained 49 percent for a total $2.8 billion in 2011, and export business to Canada grew 40.5 percent and totaled $7.2 billion.
The 10 countries buying the most U.S.-made construction machinery in 2011: (1) Canada - $7.2 billion, up 40.5 percent; (2) Australia - $2.7 billion, up 79 percent; (3) Mexico - $1.6 billion, up 28 percent; (4) Chile - $1.3 billion, up 45 percent; (5) Brazil - $951 million, up 25 percent; (6) China - $903 million, up 81 percent; (7) Colombia - $811 million, up 38 percent; (8) South Africa - $683 million, up 72 percent; (9) Russia - $652 million, up 96 percent; (10) Peru - $572 million, up 31 percent.