U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) Urges Crackdown on Counterfeit Imports of Defense Parts
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urging greater scrutiny to prevent counterfeit parts from foreign countries entering America’s defense supply chain.
Murphy's letter follows news reports that the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT received counterfeit semiconductors from Hong Kong or China on at least three separate occasions. It's unclear whether any of those counterfeit parts ended up on a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine.
In his letter, Murphy stated:
"I’m writing to Secretary Hagel to urge him to use all the tools at his disposal to invest in the domestic production of critical items in our defense supply chain, and to continue to closely monitor and punish those who would attempt to sell counterfeit goods to the Department of Defense.”
Murphy's letter said that counterfeit items in the U.S. defense supply chain represent a serious threat to national security. To illustrate his point, he cited a recent report authored for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):
Brigadier General John Adams, U.S. Army (Ret), made a similar point in his report entitled Remaking American Security...he noted that 'semiconductors…have been central to U.S. military and economic strength over the past half-century. Without semiconductors, many of the technologies that contribute to U.S. military dominance would not exist.' With that in mind I am extremely concerned about the Department of Defense’s reliance and acceptance of foreign made semiconductors and other componentry in our military hardware.
ReMaking American Security examines defense industrial base "nodes" that are vital to U.S. security. Rather than focusing on final high-cost manufactured products (such as aircraft, ships, missiles, or tanks) the report looked at 14 lower-tier commodities and raw materials, subcomponents, and end-items needed to build and operate the final systems of national defense.
The report concludes with 10 recommendations to make the United States less dependent on the importation of products
essential to national security.
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