America’s defense supply chain put at risk by purchase of counterfeit, salvaged products from China.
The U.S. Department of Defense has been buying counterfeit electronic parts from China.
A Senate Armed Services Committee investigation led by Sens. Carl
Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) has reviewed more than 100,000 pages
of Defense Department documents along with material from more than 70
companies. Their finding: In 1,800 cases, the U.S. Department of
Defense has purchased counterfeit electronics from China. In all, the
purchases run to more than 1 million parts.
The suspect components include salvaged and recycled parts that were
“burned off old circuit boards, washed in rivers, dried on streets and
sanded down to remove identifying marks.”
The components were subsequently installed in such key defense
systems as the Air Force’s C-17 airplane, the Marine Corps’ CH-46
helicopter, and the Army’s (THAAD) missile system.
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott
Paul says this sourcing from China has made the U.S. defense industrial
base more vulnerable.
“We commend Senators Levin and McCain for investigating this critical
issue. The Department of Defense isn’t helping our defense industrial
base when it permits sourcing from China. And now we are paying the
price in more ways than one.
“DoD has adopted a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to trade with
China. The American people would be appalled to learn that their tax
dollars are being spent on suspect parts that put U.S. soldiers at
risk. Taxpayer dollars should be used to purchase safe, high-quality,
American-made goods that support key jobs in important industrial
“This investigation is a good start, but to preserve our national
security, Congress must insist that DoD stop sourcing critical
components from China.”
AAM has investigated concerns that deindustrialization now poses a
threat to U.S. national security. For example, research by Michael
Webber of the University of Texas at Austin found that 13 of 16 key
defense industrial sectors have experienced “significant erosion”
without any signs of recovery. Webber explored this issue at length in a
chapter of AAM’s recent book ‘Manufacturing a Better Future for America.’
CLICK HERE to read Michael Webber’s investigation into the overall erosion of America’s industrial defense capabilities.
CLICK HERE to read more on counterfeit defense parts from China.