White House to order review of US defense industrial base

President Trump will sign an executive order launching a broad “whole of government” look at the defense industrial base, White House officials told reporters Friday.

White House trade policy director Peter Navarro said Friday that Trump will sign the “Executive Order on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.”

{mosads}Touting the study as “the first whole of government assessment of the defense industrial base,” Navarro said the review will be led by the Pentagon and is due 270 days after the order is signed. 

“This order recognizes that U.S. has lost over 60,000 factory and more that 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2001,” Navarro said during a press briefing.

“America’s defense industrial base now facing increasing gaps in its capabilities. There is just one company in the U.S. that can repair propellers for Navy submarines. Certain types of military-grade semiconductors and printed circuit boards have become endangered species,” he added.

The Pentagon will conduct the review along with the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy as well as the National Security Council.

“By viewing our defense industrial base more broadly than just the traditional defense sector, this executive order recognizes the fact that every element of our national power — manufacturing capacity, a trained workforce and abundant energy, resilient supply chain and balance international trade — is needed to ensure international security and prosperity,” Navarro said.

Alex Gray, the deputy director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, added that the report will recommend to Trump actions “to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing capacity and defense industrial base.”

“All we’re doing is as chess players, looking ahead and trying to anticipate what our needs are going to be in the future as part of a broader built up in our military that is long overdue,” Navarro added.

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