#299. Industry Experts say Manufacturing’s Decline Threatens National Security

Posted on | The Agurban

Industry Experts say Manufacturing’s Decline Threatens National Security
On September 22, 2010, a congressional subcommittee, the National Security Oversight Subcommittee, heard testimony on the downturn in the manufacturing sector. The following is from cnn.com:
The hollowing-out of the US’s industrial base means the country is risking its national security by being dependent on foreign contractors, experts told a congressional panel.
The congressional subcommittee heard from a number of economists and labor leaders who argued that the long, slow erosion of American manufacturing had led to the US losing its edge in numerous industries that are vital to national security.
“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,” said Jeff Faux of Economic Policy Institute.
Bob Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, told the panel the US has already lost its leading positions in such defense-related industries as semiconductors, advanced materials, and aerospace.
“As you watch globalization move the manufacturing base offshore, in essence you are moving the defense base offshore,” said Baugh.
Much of the focus for the loss of manufacturing jobs is on China and its trade policies and “currency manipulation,” which economists argue keeps labor costs in China artificially low and gives manufacturers there an unfair advantage. We will keep an eye on how our national lawmakers proceed.