About one-third of the 300 deficiencies faced by the nation’s defense industrial base — covering a mix of sole-source suppliers, suppliers that already have left the marketplace and foreign-owned suppliers — can be addressed over the next year, Eric Chewning, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, said Friday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Another third could be addressed over the next several years, and some of the weaknesses may never be resolved, Chewning said. An interagency study of the defense base completed last month at the request of President Trump identified about 300 gaps and vulnerabilities, reported Defense News.
The primary risk resulting from weaknesses in the lower tiers of the supply chain is that “if you have to surge production of that weapon system, you’re not going to be able to do that. Or if that widget goes out of business, you have to stop producing that F-35 or at least have delays,” Peter Navarro, the president’s trade policy adviser, said at the event.
Photo by John Snyder