from the Alliance for American Manufacturing
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) announced today that it is partnering with two former Department of Homeland Security officials, former Secretary Tom Ridge and former Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Colonel Robert B. Stephan, to review the national and homeland security risks posed by the decline of America’s manufacturing base and assess what steps are necessary to ensure adequate domestic production capacity to protect our nation’s security interests.
AAM will publish the findings of this assessment in a report due out at the end of this year, which will include specific recommendations for enhancing national security, preparedness and resiliency through a strong domestic manufacturing sector.
“Ten years have passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and during that time the U.S. has seen the loss of over 50,000 manufacturing plants and over 5.7 million jobs,” said AAM executive director Scott Paul. “This report will raise awareness of the need to rebuild our industrial base to ensure that Americans are safe and secure.”
Paul added, “Both Governor Ridge and Colonel Stephan are eminently qualified to review weaknesses in our domestic manufacturing sector that could inhibit our ability to both prepare for and respond to a terrorist attack or naturally occurring disaster.”
"The AAM report will look at what's working, where gaps still remain and how to address those vulnerabilities," said Ridge. "Such a review is important because although great progress has been made in the ten years since the 9/11 attacks, evolving threats continue to pose risks to U.S. critical infrastructure preparedness and resilience."
"One key aspect of preventing and mitigating disastrous events is hardening critical infrastructure," said Stephan. "This includes nuclear power plants, refineries, chemical facilities, pipelines, and transportation systems. A robust, diverse, and resilient domestic manufacturing sector is vital to these protective efforts."
The report will also address the risks associated with growing U.S. dependence on a range of manufactured goods, from steel to microchips, that are made in China or other nations. Risks may include protracted delivery times, sub-grade quality and lack of access to necessary materials and components from potentially hostile trading partners. China recently surpassed the U.S. as the leading manufacturing nation – a position held by the U.S. for more than a century.
Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global, an international security and risk management firm headquartered in Washington, DC. He served as the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania and the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Colonel Bob Stephan is managing director of Dutko Global Risk Management and served as the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection from 2005 to 2008. In this capacity, he spearheaded development of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).