March 21, 2014: The defense supply chain and college hoops edition

Posted by mmcmullan on 03/21/2014

Good morning,

And welcome to the Early Shift. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has been hustling this week.  What have we been up to?

“Are we still a nation of makers?” That’s the first question that was asked last night by AAM President Scott Paul as he opened our forum in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on manufacturing’s intersection with America’s national security. Paul led a discussion on the health of our defense industrial base with Rhode Island’s Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Brigadier General John Adams, U.S. Army (ret), and representatives from the business and labor communities.

Adams, author of a recent report on vulnerabilities in America's military supply chain, said that U.S. procurement strategy continues to be a concern.  As proof, he pointed to news that inferior parts supplied by China are turning up in some of the Pentagon’s most sophisticated equipment. Definitely a story we’ll be watching.

Elsewhere: We watch plenty of television in these parts. And Scott Paul, particularly, is a fan of the Netflix series House of Cards. Why?

For the past seven years, I’ve urged Washington to stand up to China on its currency manipulation and other policies that have helped to erode U.S. manufacturing employment. Now, I’ve succeeded … at least on Netflix. A World Trade Organization case, brought by the fictional Walker/Underwood administration against China for manipulating its currency, is part of a Sino-American policy thread in the show’s second season.

The kicker is: Getting tough on China for its predatory trade practices actually works. Read the entire opinion here.

And lastly: It’s hoops season. Don’t even pretend that you aren’t streaming early-round NCAA basketball games to your browser right now. We’re only a day in, and lots of brackets have already been busted, but AAM stands by its picks – made, of course, by applying the number of jobs each school's congressional district could see created locally by ending global currency manipulation.

Check out our picks right here (Wichita State, all the way!). And once you get done marveling at the genius of our college hoops decisions, tell your legislator to stand up for American manufacturing by supporting a tougher trade agenda.

That’s it and that’s all, America. Have a safe weekend, and enjoy the games.

-AAM

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