Press Release: CPA Welcomes Findings of Report on US Defense Industrial Base

October 05, 2018

Trump administration details blueprint to rebuild key manufacturing sectors

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today said the Trump administration’s new report on vulnerabilities in the US defense industrial base is welcome and critical to national and economic security. The new report offers a comprehensive assessment of the state of defense manufacturing in the United States, and warns of capability decline due to the rise of China’s industrial prominence.

“This is a major and overdue step,” said CPA Chairman Dan DiMicco. “Over the past 20 years, important parts of our defense supply chain have been offshored to countries that are strategic competitors or politically unstable. But the administration has now taken the unprecedented step of identifying key problems and choke points for the nation’s armed forces. America needs to preserve a strong defense manufacturing base, and we congratulate the administration for being proactive in establishing a blueprint to rebuild critically needed military capabilities. President Trump is absolutely right that ‘economic security is national security.’”

CPA has been particularly concerned about China’s modern “unrestricted warfare” which is a whole-of-government approach to weaken America’s defense industrial base. A number of CPA members provide inputs for the US defense supply chain, and they can testify to the challenges posed by predatory competition from China. 

The Defense Department study highlights key trouble spots, including a “single point of failure” wherein there is no domestic supplier and the US defense manufacturing industry relies on foreign sources for critical equipment. In other instances, only one domestic manufacturer remains for specific components or weapon systems.

The report also identifies heavily subsidized competition from China as a key driver of import dependency for such critical materials and equipment as carbon fibers, solid rocket materials, printed circuit boards, machine tools, ceramics used for body armor, titanium and beryllium metals used in aircraft construction, and energetics for propellant explosives.

Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA said, “The outsourcing of America’s defense supply chain has gone too far. It’s a troubling and unsustainable position, and action is overdue. However, we’re encouraged that the administration had developed and implemented a blueprint for modernizing the US military and revitalizing major sectors of domestic manufacturing.”

The president’s “Blueprint for Action” aims to “diversify away from complete dependency on sources of supply in politically unstable countries who may cut off U.S. access.” 

“This is historically significant,” adds DiMicco. “It’s the first-ever assessment of its kind undertaken by the executive branch, and President Trump is the first commander in chief to think strategically about America’s defense industrial base since President Eisenhower. We fully support his efforts to rapidly identify supply-chain gaps, and to take much-needed steps to get America’s manufacturers back on a more solid footing in supporting the nation’s military needs.

The Coalition for a Prosperous America is the nation’s premier organization working on the intersection of trade, jobs, tax and economic growth. We represent the interests of 4.1 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.

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  • Kevin zeese
    It would be a lot better if the US stopped spending so much money on weapons and war and focused on rebuilding our infrastructure, creating rapid mass transit to connect cities as well as within cities, build a transition to a clean energy economy and funded robotics for civilian not military purposes. Rather than rebuilding military weapons infrastructure, let’s build industry that serves the common good. Spending more than 60% of federal discretionary spending on the military when there are outstanding civilian needs ensure the US economy will continue to fail the vast majority of our citizens.