House Committee Examines U.S. Defense Industrial Base

Posted by scapozzola on 09/22/2010

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, held a hearing, “Made in the USA:  Manufacturing Policy, the Defense Industrial Base, and U.S. National Security.” Among those testifying were Michael Wessel, a Commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and a Senior Advisor for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).   In his testimony, Wessel highlighted concerns about increased reliance on production that has been moved to China:
Today, a growing percentage of the high technology equipment our military uses and which controls our nation’s critical infrastructure is produced offshore – more and more of it in China.   Many of our leading manufacturers display their company logos on the outside of the box, but little inside  may be produced here (and, of course, the label may not be either).
Others testifying included: Robert Baugh (AFL-CIO), Mark Gordon (National Defense Industrial Association), and Jeff Faux (EPI). As CNN.com observed of the hearing, "Less 'made in USA' puts security at risk":
The committee also will examine the problem of reliance on substandard and sometimes counterfeit foreign-made parts, a dependence stemming from the drop in U.S.-made products, a depleted manufacturing workforce, and outdated technology. That reliance could place the lives of American soldiers at risk, according to information released by the subcommittee.
In testimony, EPI's Jeff Faux said: "We have allowed our industrial base to deteriorate for the last two to three decades. As a result, just in national defense terms, our supply lines for strategic parts and materials have been stretched around the world." Added the AFL-CIO's Bob Baugh: "As you watch globalization move the manufacturing base offshore, in essence you are moving the defense base offshore. This is dangerous." Read more.

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