US Vice President Joe Biden has praised Australian workers, telling employees at the Boeing Aerostructures Australia facility in Fishermans Bend that they are among the most productive workers in the world.
Mr Biden visited the Boeing site on July 18 as part of a broader four-day tour of Australia.
The Vice President spoke after a tour of the factory – the only Boeing site in the world to make the vital moveable trailing edges wing component for the 787 Dreamliner – and was hosted by AAMC leader Maureen Dougherty, President of Boeing Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.
“You’re on the cutting edge of technology and aerospace,” Vice President Biden said. “This is an incredible facility and it reflects the true economic partnership that exists between the United States of America and Australia.”
“The future belongs to those countries that engage in fair trade, those countries that engage in empowering their workforce, those countries that engage in practices that are totally consistent with the conduct of international commerce.
The Vice President also said there would be more investment in high-tech, high-skilled industry between his country and Australia in the future.
Boeing’s largest R&D presence outside of the US is here in Australia, and its highly-automated Fishermans Bend factory creates wing flaps for the 787 Dreamliner as well as control surfaces for the 737, 747 and 777.
Boeing’s presence in Australia is the company’s largest footprint outside the United States, with more than 3,000 employees in 27 locations. The aerospace major, which is the largest manufacturing exporter in the US, celebrated its centenary on July 15.
While in Melbourne, Mr Biden also went to the MCG for an AFL game between Carlton and West Coast and dined at Government House with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
“Victoria and the United States collaborate strongly across aerospace, medical research and information technology and this visit will help strengthen those ties for the years ahead,” acting Victorian Premier James Merlino said in a statement.