Consider Allies Part Of U.S. Industrial Base.

Author:Pocknee, Graeme Blue
Position:Letter to the editor

In the November Editor's Notes article, "Scapegoating Won't Solve Industrial Base Woes," you expressed the question, "How is the U.S. going to respond?" to issues raised in the "Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States" report.

The inclusion of Australia and Britain in the national defense industrial base appears to have been largely overlooked in the discussion. Marc D. Gietter's article, "Offshore Battery Production Poses Problems for Military" in the same issue discusses the supply of lithium for batteries. Australia is the largest provider of lithium in the world, and has substantial reserves of many other rare earths and other minerals. Companies such as General Atomics already have investments in Australian uranium reserves.

Here are some other key points that could be considered in how the United States responds. Australia has vast reserves of rare earths, minerals and ores available to support U.S. production. Existing free trade agreements and lack of quotas make Australia a reliable source, compared to reliance upon more politically sensitive supplies.

Also, Australia and Britain invest in the research and development of U.S. technologies. These countries are not just purchasers of U.S. defense products, but they invest in the development of programs such as the P-8 Poseidon, the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, Mark 48 torpedo, F-35 joint strike fighter and Next Generation Jammer.

Australia and Britain both purchase U.S. defense equipment, thereby supporting the U.S. defense industry.

Bidirectional product and technology exchange with U.S. industry provide market access and IP access to broaden the U.S. market base. Countries such as Australia provide a good base for business in the Asian time zones.

Australian manufacturers are also focused on...

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