HAVENSTEIN: In a time when we are at war, DoD
should be permitted to continue procuring the equipment it needs to support our men and women in uniform
via international industrial partnerships and at best values
in the global marketplace. The United States should
refrain from instituting protectionist policies that could
deleteriously affect our troops in the field and our relationships with valued allies. There will always be certain
capabilities that should be retained within the sovereign
control of the United States, and there should be an
appropriate and effective way to determine and manage
those capabilities. Aspects of “Buy America” can be effective in creating proper foreign investment in the United
States that promotes innovation and competition.
ALBAUGH: The first priority must be to protect vital
U.S. national security technology and secure our defense
industrial base. Appropriate safeguards must be in place
to ensure that U.S. companies are also able to compete
against international competitors on a level playing field.
Having said that, the reality of future defense budgets
will require that industry tap into the trillions of dollars
being invested in technology around the world instead of
trying to develop it all ourselves. Research and development spending for defense is down. Perhaps by pooling
money, talent and the intellectual capacity among all of
our friends and allies we can better meet our evolving
needs. Reasoned and balanced reform can protect vital
technology at the same time that it advances U.S. national security, foreign policy and global economic interests
and strengthens relationships with our closest allies.
STEVENS: It is understandable that when economic
indicators trend downward, lawmakers and others seek
ways to preserve jobs, especially in high-technology sectors. There is a belief that, in order to preserve the U.S.
defense industrial base, it is possible to isolate it from the
global economy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is already a globalized aerospace and defense world. The
U.S. defense industry, like all others, needs access to the
best technologies and talents to stay competitive and provide the finest and best-priced products and services for
our government customers. As strong as it is, the U.S.
defense industrial base does not have a monopoly on the
best technical solutions. Further, international partnership
programs in many cases actually import work into the
United States that would not be there without global sales.
The United States is the largest defense market, at
approximately 40 percent of the world total, and therefore many international defense companies are interested in competing here. But our defense and aerospace
industry also is the largest U.S. net exporter [approxi-mately $57 billion in 2007], precisely because we have
reciprocal access to, and are highly competitive in, the
other 60 percent of the global defense markets. If we
close off the United States to international defense companies, international partner countries will stop buying
U.S. defense products, U.S. defense companies could lose
their competitive edge and the U.S. taxpayer would likely have to pay more for defense products and services.
We should not be looking at this issue in terms of “
leveling the playing field,” but in terms of what overall value
is accruing to U.S. and allied security interests.
SUGAR: As Americans, we value competition and
think it is important to a healthy marketplace — and to
getting the best value and most capable weapon systems
for our warfighters. Without competition, as we’ve
learned through experience, capabilities will decline and
costs will rise.
During the 1990s, there was increased consolidation
in the U.S. defense industry. In order to maintain competition in the industry we are seeing — and will continue to see — an increasing number of partnerships
with allied nations for a variety of weapon systems.
The fact is a globalized defense industry continues to
benefit the United States. DoD policy is to leverage foreign suppliers and manufacturers to increase interoperability with allies, expose U.S. industry to competition
and enhance U.S. industry’s access to global markets. The
Government Accountability Office, for example, calculated that our allies purchase more than six times more military equipment from America than we do from them. So
the balance of trade is significantly in our favor.
Some of the Pentagon’s top defense contractors from
foreign companies, such as EADS, BAE Systems and
Rolls-Royce, have made significant investments in the
United States, providing jobs and economic growth in
many areas across the country. This “insourcing” is of
huge benefit to the United States.
SMITH: It is not unreasonable for Congress and others
to want to be sure we have a vibrant defense industrial
base. In fact, no country even comes close to our capability. There are instances when some lawmakers push for
proposals that may actually prove counterproductive to
the U.S. industrial base despite good intentions, but reasonable compromises are usually found. The international market is important to the U.S. defense industry;
Raytheon is no exception. The international market is a
major growth vehicle for us, with 26 percent of our bookings and 20 percent of our revenue coming from outside
the United States in 2007. We currently do business in
some 80 countries around the world. It is clearly important that the U.S. defense industrial base be healthy. But it
is also important that we allow fair competition in our
own, including allowing participation of the global industry base for economic advantage. ■