Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. joined a retired general and other lawmakers Wednesday to support a new report that says the Pentagon’s purchases overseas threaten U.S. national security.
Sponsored in part by U.S. manufacturers, the report said reliance on raw materials and products from overseas could result in disruptions of the military’s supply chain. The study identified “vulnerabilities created by the United States’ growing reliance on foreign inputs.”
One weakness mentioned in the report is China’s near monopoly on “rare earth elements” used to manufacture weapons systems.
“The U.S. government and industry must stockpile these vital raw materials, strengthen efforts to resume mining and transformation of the materials in the United States, improve recycling to make more efficient use of current supplies,” the report said.
The report also made other recommendations, including strengthening collaboration between government, industry, and academic institutions to educate, train, and retain people with specialized skills to work in key defense industry sectors.
Brigadier General John Adams helped research and write the report.
“America’s vulnerability today is frightening,” he said. “This report is a wake-up call.”
Murphy singled out Ansonia Specialty Metals of Waterbury as an example of a member of “a proud group of American workers and companies building the platforms and weapon systems essential to our national defense.”