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Stop Spending Defense Production Act Money On Foreign Suppliers

Stop spending Defense Production Act money on foreign suppliers

Stop spending Defense Production Act money on foreign suppliers

EVA HAMBACH For the second year in a row, and just as the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act process peaks in Congress, the Biden administration’s Defense Department seeks executive branch authority to spend U.S. taxpayer Defense Production Act money with foreign suppliers, in addition to American ones. Last year, Congress rejected the proposal, and it would be wise to do so again. For medical equipment, automotive chips and everything in between, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant national emergency exposed U.S. reliance on weak or nonexistent supply chain policies. These prioritized globalization and eliminating the cost of maintaining critical national stockpiles. Common sense now dictates a different national security supply chain approach. Reliance on foreign suppliers, friend or not, creates unacceptable risk in national emergencies. The DoD should not seek to expose the nation to foreign threats, and should seek to adhere to the national security intents spelled out in the Defense Production Act. The DPA, now 73 years old, gives the president broad powers to command the U.S. industrial base and supply chains during times of war, during a domestic crisis and in any emergency environment. The DPA has pulled our feet from the fire many times during modern history, most notably during wartime and the recent pandemic. DPA authorities provided millions of vaccines, ventilators and masks to combat the spread of disease. The DPA is currently enabling the expansion of domestic capacity for materiel in support of Ukraine . Simply put, the DPA is the most powerful tool available to the DoD and the president for the development of any and all needed domestic industrial capabilities . At its core, the intent of the DPA is about American dollars being spent with American companies to strengthen American supply chains. It is as simple as that. The Biden administration’s Defense Department has proposed, again, to spend DPA money on projects in foreign countries, the U.K. and Australia in particular . This proposal weakens U.S. supply chains, encourages the use of DPA money in pursuit of other foreign policy aims, and discourages the reshoring of critically needed capabilities after decades of reliance on free markets, globalization and our misguided emphasis on the bottom line.

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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