The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is vowing to expel all Chinese goods and materials from the United States’s defense supply chains.
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said that he would lead the effort to expunge China-sourced goods during a Feb. 8 hearing of the committee on the subject of defense-industrial base security.
“The greatest concern I have with the defense industrial base is our continued reliance on China as the source of raw materials,” Rogers said.
“I won’t stop until we’ve completely rid the defense supply chain of Chinese goods and materials.”
Rogers said that communist China still inadvertently controlled too many parts of the supply chains required to equip the military and conduct security operations.
He singled out the United States’s continued reliance on China for rare earth minerals and non-advanced semiconductor chips and said that the regime’s grip on such supplies would need to be broken.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) maintains a tight grip on many of our material supply chains including critical minerals and semiconductors,” Rogers said.“We will never prevail in a conflict with China if they’re the source of our military supply.”
US Must Move Dependencies
Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said that the continued role of China in providing elements for the United States’s defense industrial supply chains was part of a greater legacy of irresponsible investment by U.S. corporations seeking to make an easy profit.
“Starting roughly in the late 1990s into the early 2000s, China became the global corporate easy button,” Smith said.
“That’s where you went to make stuff. Huge market, not much in the way of labor costs, certainly not environmental regulations. It was cheap, it was easy, it was the way to go.”
To that end, Smith said that the intricately woven ties between U.S. and Chinese companies would not be easily undone, nor could they be wholly replaced by the power of American manufacturing alone.
The United States, he said, would need to look to its allies and partners to create new deals and supply chains.
“There’s no way that the United States of America can meet this challenge on its own,” Smith said.
“We need to increase our capacity, absolutely, but we also need to work with trusted partners.”
The committee also heard from Eric Fanning, who is currently the CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association and formerly served as secretary of the Army.
Fanning said that the United States was doing an admirable job pulling its defense supply chains out from China’s grasp, but that it still faced particular trouble with the processing of rare earth minerals.
While the nation could source the minerals from elsewhere, Fanning said, nearly all of the infrastructure to process them into useful materials was still in China.
Like Smith, Fanning attributed the state of affairs to years of overlapping policies and incentives that favored outsourcing to China.
“It took us years to get to where we are, built on different policies with China,” Fanning said.
“As we pivot, and try to extricate ourselves particularly on the national security side, it’s going to take time, shared effort, and a sense of urgency.”
From The Epoch Times