Industrial base report delayed as hurricane approaches

By Tony Bertuca  
September 12, 2018 at 10:01 AM

The Pentagon and White House have delayed the public release of a much-anticipated defense industrial base report amid the approach of Hurricane Florence along the Carolina coast.

“At this time, there's nothing planned for this week,” DOD spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews wrote in an email. “The report release could happen as early as next week.”

Andrews told Inside Defense the report's release was scheduled for Friday, but was delayed as the White House and President Trump prepared for the onset of Hurricane Florence.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said last week at a Defense News conference the report would, in part, review the fragility of DOD's supply chain and dependence on foreign sources.

"I think what we need to do is make sure that we understand the entire industrial base, and the report actually segments it very nicely," she said. "And then understand where in some situations we don't even have a value proposition for critical components to have a regular business make a reasonable profit enough to be able to reinvest in the business. That's the one time government should step in."

Lord also referenced China's aggressive purchase of rare-earth minerals needed for the manufacture of electronic devices.

"We need to talk with our allies and partners," she said. "Rare-earth metals are a real issue for us right now. China is buying up a lot of the supply in Africa and other places. We need to understand what alternate sources [there] are."