A strong national defense means a strong manufacturing base.

Posted by LDonia on 11/21/2013

There’s nothing more important than America's national security. And ensuring the U.S. has a defense industrial base that can maintain it should be a top priority.

Don’t see the connection? Take a look at a recent AAM report by Brig. Gen. John Adams (U.S. Army, Ret.). General Adams shows we rely far too much on foreign source for materials to our national security. In times of crisis, America could be dangerously reliant on trading partners that don’t have our best interests at heart.

That’s why at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we're keeping an eye on Capitol Hill this week. The Senate will consider the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 (NDAA), an annual bill that sets policies for the Department of Defense (DOD).

This is a chance to leverage defense spending to bolster America’s manufacturing base. If we targeted the billions we spend on security more wisely, America could get some of those jobs back.

Here are a few amendments to the NDAA that could do just that:

 

  • The first amendment is the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act. It would require the White House to conduct an analysis of our manufacturing sector's ability to compete, determining what must be done to strengthen it, and setting goals to do so along the way.
  • The second one is called the American Jobs Matter Act. This amendment would make sure DOD measures how much domestic employment is created or saved and consider that when it awards a contract.
  • The third is the American-made Footwear Amendment. This bill would give U.S. producers of athletic footwear – like New Balance, which employs hundreds of workers at its New England factories – the first shot at supplying footwear to the military.
  • The fourth is a domestic manufacturing amendment authorizing the Secretary of Defense to work with federal agencies to develop plans to expand the role of American manufacturers in the military supply chain.
  • And the fifth is what we call the American Flags Amendment. This one is pretty simple: It would ensure that American flags purchased by the Department of Defense are made in America.

 

These are good ideas. So lets make sure the rest of the Senate thinks so too. Click here to ask your senator to support them. Remember: Theres a clear connection between a healthy industrial base and our national security, and your senator's vote will go a long way to strengthening that bond.

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