Trade Compliance Standards Kickoff Event at the AIA Summer SMC

On the first day of AIA’s summer Supplier Management Council (SMC) meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, AIA led a panel on its latest initiative to renew American leadership in global trade: the Trade Compliance Standards (TCS) project. In collaboration with industry experts, AIA is compiling a “best practices” guide on trade compliance for aerospace and defense companies seeking to stay compliant with U.S. export regulations. The presentation highlighted several important points – including what a trade compliance standard includes, how they help businesses, and how to use them in practice.

Since 1941, the Aerospace Industries Association has collaborated with subject matter experts to develop voluntary technical standards – the National Aerospace Standards – for the aerospace and defense industry. This has been a valuable tool for aerospace and defense engineers to accelerate innovation, shorten design cycles, reduce costs, and engineer “smarter.” Through cost savings borne from purchasing mass-produced standardized parts rather than designing them for each application, manufacturers can instead focus their efforts on creating high-skill, high-wage jobs that enhance the aerospace and defense industrial base.

Recently, our members across the supply chain expressed a desire for standardization of export and import processes. While traditionally National Aerospace Standards have assisted in building products, AIA – through the TCS project – is currently developing standards to help those buying and selling as well. Easing the burden of export control compliance on the aerospace and defense industry enables companies to do what they do best: design, produce, and sell innovative, effective, and advanced equipment and technologies. This in turn reinforces the United States as the global “trading partner of choice,” driving the expansion of national economic growth and attracting America’s ‘best and brightest’ into the thriving aerospace and defense workforce.

The initiative was launched by AIA’s International Division, with the support and technical expertise of AIA’s National Aerospace Standards team, to develop a suite of standards that will provide best practices that the aerospace and defense industry can use to comply with the export and import control regimes enforced by the United States government. Launched in response to the many changes taking place to the U.S. export control system as a result of the Export Control Reform initiative, this standards development project will provide an inexpensive and effective reference guide for our industry’s trade and compliance officers. AIA members have the opportunity to draft, approve, and propose future standards for the good of the industry.

The first standards suite focused on export compliance will aid small and medium-sized companies that do not have the infrastructure to support a full-time compliance team but are interested in exporting their products abroad. Future projects include standard suites focused on importing for U.S. and foreign based companies. Since TCS’ launch, AIA has produced a draft list of 16 standards related to export compliance, and three have already been published and are available for sale here.

Through efforts such as our TCS project, AIA aims to support the innovative American aerospace and defense industry in its valuable contributions to the United States’ primacy as a global trading partner.

For more information on the TCS, please visit call Kelvin Stroud at 703-358-1064 or email