WASHINGTON POST: Does an increased reliance on imports leaves the U.S. more vulnerable to disasters?
As Peter Whoriskey reports in today's Washington Post, the United States may be more vulnerable to the damage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks due to an "increasing reliance on imports, combined with the fraying of the nation’s power grid, highways and rail lines."
This morning, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) released a new report co-authored by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former Assistant Secretary Robert B. Stephan that finds troubling gaps in U.S. disaster preparedness.
In an interview with Whoriskey, Ridge explaied that the U.S. is "a country at risk because we’ve ignored the gradual erosion of our manufacturing basis. We’ve ignored the need to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure."
As the report explains, the offshoring of U.S. factories could make disaster recovery more difficult because of a growing dependence on critical supplies from overseas.
Whoriskey also spoke with AAM Executive Director Scott Paul, who explained that while "the frequency of large-scale disasters seems to be increasing, the U.S. seems to be at an all-time low in terms of being able to supply our own critical needs."
In the report, Ridge and Stephan call for an urgent rebuilding of U.S. manufacturing. Among their recommendations are strengthened Buy America preferences for federal contracts and greater enforcement of U.S. trade laws.
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