How critical is American manufacturing to American security?
You can consider this the “Part II” to the post from last week discussing a report, filed by two former professionals of the Department of Homeland Security, where they made the strong assertion that America grows weaker with every product that is produced, developed or shipped to the United States with which American consumers are dependent upon. The main point of that report was to warn of a growing vulnerability that is the result of increased reliance on foreign shipping and the prediction that America’s strength is tremendously undermined should a crisis hit or should we be engaged in hostile activity with foreign supplier.
Assuming we take this report at face value, it seems warranted to be overly concerned about the implications of such proposed weaknesses that America seems to have and the truth of how strong these implications are. Simply put, we are at risk because we don’t supply our own citizens with supplies, causing us to rely upon our foreign suppliers to aid us through all times, including the times of great natural or man-made catastrophes. Essentially, this report is one that makes a simple yet well-founded claim that proves to be a laborious task to refute.
How can an argument be made that we are NOT vulnerable? It is a fact that we rely on foreign suppliers for nearly all of our basic products and while this may prove cost-effective it could certainly lead to our own demise. In a world where hostile intentions are never lacking and global strength is always a savory prospect, it seems careless to allow all of our supplies to come to us instead of being made by us.
Interestingly enough, this report is coupled with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recent proposal to propose tariffs on leading producers like Samsung and Electrolux, in which there is a hope that the act of “dumping” will be reduced and that leading producers will think twice before supporting foreign suppliers that engage in “dumping.” On the other hand, a producer like Whirlpool seems to be on board with eventually having most of their products manufactured in America and hope to be much more American based by 2013, according to the DoC investigation report from July. This could mean a serious shift in production and sales in the market and if other other leading producers are not willing to jump on bandwagon, they quite possibly could be left in the proverbial dust.
Is this enough? Policing the foreign markets could prove to help American infrastructure while crippling production for leading producers. The question then becomes a matter of which is more important. Furthermore, is a reliance on foreign manufacturing simply the way that it has to be? Can there even be an alternative option for the United States?
The overwhelming concern of national security seems to pervade every market and industry throughout the global economy. We must decide if this is something we can change but, more importantly, if we can do we actually want to change. Do we want to change our way of life? Is it even possible?
We leave this, as always, to you, the consumer. It still remains that every leading producer still needs to sell their product which is where you fit in quite nicely. Your role is critical, essential, and ultimately the determinant of how vulnerable this country will be in the future years.