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  • There's a school of thought that the U.S. doesn't need to do its own manufacturing.

  • Why make stuff in the U.S. if it can be imported more cheaply from abroad?

  • One answer is jobs.

  • But there's another big reason.

  • Manufacturing in America is a matter of national security.

  • The United States is at risk.

  • if potential enemies suddenly stop supplying parts for weapons systems.

  • The big five defense contractors depend on technology

  • and manufacturing know-how developed by the civilian sector.

  • And the U.S. civilian manufacturing base is gradually eroding.

  • This is forcing the defense sector to look overseas at times for the parts it needs

  • Free-trade agreements DO allow for purchases from close allies.

  • The Pentagon can also grant waivers from the "Buy American Act"

  • when contractors can't find what they need in the U.S..

  • But there's a problem,

  • the world's biggest manufacturer is also an emerging military rivalChina.

  • Federal law prohibits the Pentagon from buying weapons or parts from China.

  • But that's getting tougher to avoid

  • because China simply dominates the market for some critical components.

  • Take printed circuit boards,

  • which go into military systems from missiles to ships to trucks.

  • A Defense Department report says

  • China makes close to half of the world’s printed circuit boards.

  • China is also slowly building strength in other electronics, including semiconductors.

  • And it's the largest producer of a chemical compound used in detonators

  • for over 200 kinds of munitions.

  • Without singling out China, the Pentagon warns that if key parts aren’t made in America,

  • the U.S. risks supply disruption, theft of its technology, or even sabotage.

  • The trouble is, buy-American laws can also make domestic manufacturers inefficient

  • and expensive by shielding them from competition.

  • and the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next eight countries combined.

There's a school of thought that the U.S. doesn't need to do its own manufacturing.

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Why 'Made in America' is a Matter of National Security

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    黃艾瑄 posted on 2017/07/17
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