A strong and vibrant maritime industry helps ensure the United States maintains its expertise in shipbuilding and waterborne transportation. A cautionary lesson surrounds Great Britain, which has seen its maritime industry outsourced and the global influence of its naval forces drastically reduced. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes the importance of maintaining a strong domestic shipbuilding industry to keep our nation safe and secure.
“We believe that the ability of the nation to build and maintain a U.S.-flag fleet is in the national interest, [and] we also believe it is in the interest of the DoD for U.S. shipbuilders to maintain a construction capability for commercial vessels.”
A study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration, reached a similar conclusion:
- “The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry is a strategic asset analogous to the aerospace, computer, and electronic industries.”
- “Frontline warships and support vessels are vital for maintaining America’s national security and for protecting interests abroad.”
- “In emergency situations, America’s cargo carrying capacity is indispensable for moving troops and supplies to areas of conflict overseas.”
- “A domestic capability to produce and repair warships, support vessels, and commercial vessels is not only a strategic asset but also fundamental to national security.”