With mass layoffs at BAE Systems and the future of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in question, New Hampshire’s dependence on defense spending has been thrown into sharp relief. So as sequester cuts loom, the Granite State’s defense industry is turning toward foreign trade.
The state is creating an Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, which will allow big contractors and small component manufacturers to band together and drum up international business. Tina Kasim of the state’s Department of Resources and Economic Development, believes about 300 businesses could benefit from this approach.
“As we come to see what sequester and budget cuts are doing domestically, we have huge opportunities to explore markets overseas," Kasim says.
The department has cited Italy and India as promising markets, because they’re both increasing defense spending. Over the next two-years, the consortium will get about $600,000 in federal grant funding.