WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11-United States Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) have called for an investigation into the role of foreign imports in the U.S. defense industrial base. Brown and Bayh submitted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the volume and function of imports in Department of Defense (DoD) procurement, as well as the impact of supply disruptions on U.S. military capacity and readiness.

“Our nation cannot afford any cracks in our defense industrial base,” says Brown. “We need to know the national security implications of our increasing reliance on foreign manufacturing to equip the U.S. military. It certainly hurts Ohio’s economy when U.S. business and jobs are shipped overseas. It also is jeopardizing our military readiness.”

“We should not depend on unreliable sources for U.S. military components,” says Bayh. “Our nation’s security and the safety of our service members must never be jeopardized by faulty supply chains or defective imports, especially when our own companies can provide our military with superior products. It is time we took a thorough inventory of the national security vulnerabilities created by the Defense Department’s reliance on imports.”

In recent years the pace of globalization has accelerated dramatically, altering supply relationships throughout the world economy. Defense manufacturers increasingly rely on imports for critical equipment and parts. For example, Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems, a recipient of government contracts for the manufacture of critical aircraft braking systems, recently announced it will shift operations from Akron, OH, to Mexico. Brown and Bayh are seeking the GAO study to provide more information to lawmakers as they address changing supply relationships in defense manufacturing.