Editors note: this is an important report that we have been waiting for. It will be the start of moving our defense industrial supply chain away from reliance on strategic competitors like China.
Beijing's “trade dominance” and willingness to use trade as a “weapon of soft power” is putting the U.S. manufacturing and defense industrial base at risk, the White House Office of Trade & Manufacturing Policy said in a report released on Thursday.
[October 5, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
The Oct. 4 report, “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,” was called for by President Trump in a July 21, 2017, executive order. It involved a host of federal agencies.
“China’s trade dominance and its willingness to use trade as a weapon of soft power increases the risks America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base faces in relying on a strategic competitor for critical goods, services, and commodities,” the report states.
Trump last year directed the Pentagon's Defense Office of Industrial Policy, in coordination with other agencies, to oversee a nine-month government assessment of the defense industrial base -- which the White House has characterized as critical to both national and economic security.
“As part of the increasingly global manufacturing and defense industrial base, imports of strategic and critical materials, such as rare earths, have increased, causing a trade-off between supply dependency and lower costs,” the report states.