Defense Department Tackling Industrial Base Issues.

Author:Santos, Jennifer

From the very first day of the Trump administration, the health and resiliency of the industrial base has been at the forefront of the national security conversation.

The National Defense Industrial Association has been a strong partner in assisting the Defense Department in understanding the challenges and opportunities that industry and the Pentagon collectively face.

The report NDIA recently released, "Vital Signs 2020: The Health and Readiness of the Defense Industrial Base," is yet another contribution the association has made in this critical national security conversation.

The "Vital Signs" project undertook a difficult challenge: grade the health of the defense industrial base. The report presents itself as a counter--or more comprehensive--perspective to the department's report in response to Executive Order 13806. In reality, the two reports are complements. They utilize different approaches and different risk frameworks to achieve the same goal: placing the health of the industrial base as a consistent part of the national security dialogue.

Where the two reports diverge is on recent Defense Department action to support industry. As the deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, I would like to introduce and reinforce some of the many actions that this administration is undertaking to support the security, resiliency and health of the defense industrial base.

Examples of these activities include helping industry work with the department. To support the office of industrial policy's responsibility to act as a "help desk" to industry, we published the "Defense Acquisition Welcome Mat," a hyperlinked representation of the key touchpoints for any business that might wish to create or expand their relationship with the Defense Department. Our office also submitted the "DoD Small Business Strategy" to Congress, a report which focuses on aligning the department's small business activities with the National Defense Strategy and strengthening its ability to serve small businesses.

To combat the exploitation of the loopholes in the legal processes that erode America's technology advantage, the department worked with interagency partners to pass the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, expanding oversight of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States--better known as CFIUS--to include joint ventures and real estate transactions. The department studied the way the U.S. industrial base was...

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