16:36 GMT09 May 2021
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    According to the report, China is now the only producer of some of the chemicals required for US munitions and missiles, with America also dependent on its Japanese and European allies for materials in other crucial equipment, from rockets to satellites.

    The 146-page report, commissioned by President Trump in 2017 and set to be released in full on Friday, identifies close to 300 supply chain vulnerabilities, with China alone mentioned over 230 times.

    "China," the report points out, "is the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals used in munitions and missiles," with the US also depending on the People's Republic for everything from solar cells tp flat-panel displays for US warplanes.

    "China's actions seriously threaten other capabilities, including machine tools; the production and processing of advanced materials like biomaterials, ceramics, and composites; and the production of printed circuit boards and semiconductors," the report says. "In many cases, there is no other source or drop-in replacement material and even in cases where that option exists, the time and cost to test and qualify the new material can be prohibitive," it suggests.

    According to the report, "all facets of the manufacturing and defense industrial base are currently under threat," and the US is faced with the issue of entire industries being "near domestic extinction." China, its trade policy and its alleged theft of intellectual property are to blame, it says.

    In addition to China, the report mentions other countries, pointing, for example, to a US dependence on Japan and Europe in carbon fibers for missiles, rockets and satellites, vacuum tubes for night vision goggles, and other components.

    To allay these problems, the report recommends reducing America's dependence on Chinese and other foreign-made weapons components, and making an effort to "grow domestic science, technology, engineering, mathematics and critical trade skills." The report also goes after an "antiquated and counter-productive" procurement procedure at the Pentagon which it says results in delays, lack of innovation and increased costs.

    Trump is expected to formally unveil the report at the White House and sign an executive order to deal with the issue of the MIC's import dependence on Friday afternoon. The US response is expected to include targeted infusions of additional funding for domestic defense-related industries.

    According to Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's top acquisition official, the MIC supports some 2.4 million US jobs, and accounts for $865 billion in "annual industry output," as well as $143 billion in export earnings. 


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