Trump to sign executive order for review of defense industrial base

Delaware Valley

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will sign an executive order for a broad "whole of government" review of the defense industrial base, including labor and the defense supply chain, Reuters news service reported Friday.

"There's just one company in the U.S. that can repair propellers for Navy submarines," Peter Navarro, the White House National Trade Council director, said as he explained the order to reporters, Reuters reported.

The Executive Order on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States will initiate the review, which the Pentagon will lead and finish in 270 days, Navarro said.

The departments of Labor and Homeland Security, as well as other government agencies, will assist in the review.

The review is intended to identify and address potential weak points in the U.S. defense manufacturing base, including companies that could "go under," leaving gaps in the supply chain for U.S. weapons systems, Navarro said.

"This order recognizes that as the U.S. has loss of over 60,000 factories and more than 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2001, America's defense industrial base is now facing increasing gaps in its capabilities," he said.

"The ability of the U.S. to manufacture and obtain goods critical to our national security could be hampered by an inability to obtain essential components, which may not themselves be directly related to national security," said Alexander Gray, who works in the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.