20 April 2017

News Story: Buy America, Again. Sigh


WASHINGTON: America cannot apply Buy America provisions on a widescale basis and buy the best weapons, no matter how much President Trump and his team may feel otherwise. It’s a simple as that.

All the competitors for the Air Force’s next-generation trainer, the T-X, include enormous amounts of foreign content, some including the aircraft. The biggest weapon system built for the US military, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, includes enormous amounts of foreign content. The F-35’s complex wiring bundles are done by a Dutch company. An Australian company builds vertical tailpieces. BAE, a British and American company, builds major portions of the plane. Check out the graphic below by BAE Systems to see what they do. There’s even a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Norway, Turkey, the UK and the U.S.A about the production, sustainment, and follow-on development of the F-35 that guarantees certain rights to the program’s original partner countries.

As those examples make clear, the world is really too interconnected to put America First in defense trade without harming American interests. American defense supply chains are inextricably tied to Europe, Australia, Japan and South Korea. I don’t mention Canada because it is legally part of the US defense industrial base and is not subject to regulation. It was missed by many, but the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act added Australia and Britain to the US industrial base, so their companies also would not be subject to whatever the review finds. One source familiar with the issue says Britain and Australia were added to fend off the worst effects of a Buy America crackdown that was already being discussed.

Read the full story at Breaking Defense