Manufacturing technology producers support S. 1677, the Defense Production Act
McLean, VA – U.S. manufacturing technology providers roundly applauded last week’s passage of the Defense Production Act (DPA) reforms and reauthorization (S. 1677) in the Senate and urged the House of Representatives to move quickly to follow suit.
"America’s national security is threatened by the erosion the recession has caused to our defense industrial base," warned Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. "This country’s manufacturing sector needs the type of support provided by the Defense Production Act if we are to continue our critical role in defense preparedness."
The DPA was created in 1950 during the Korean War to ensure that American industry could be mobilized swiftly and effectively in times of war. It is set to expire on September 30 unless Congress acts. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) joined forces in this current effort to update the DPA and make it more effective in current times.
"The bipartisan leadership of Senators Dodd and Shelby and the broad support and swift action of the Senate illustrate the wide recognition that the DPA could be used now to help manufacturers hard hit by this economic downturn, particularly those that continue to have problems accessing credit," said Woods.
Eugene Haffely, Jr., chief operating officer of Assembly & Test Worldwide Inc., and a member of AMT’s board of directors testified in support of the DPA reforms in the Dodd-Shelby bill in a May 13 Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing chaired by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), an early champion of the DPA bill.
"Sen. Brown recognizes that America’s national security depends on a healthy manufacturing base and right now, it’s not healthy," said Haffely."Tight credit continues to plague companies up and down the industrial production chain," Haffely went on. "And without credit, business is at a standstill."
Haffely said the loan and loan guarantee program in the DPA bill will help shore up struggling companies critical to national security, thereby promoting economic growth and ensuring that we are not dependent on foreign sources for our defense needs.
Woods urged the House to move forward quickly in approving the bill. "Let’s hope the bill is passed by the House and signed by President Obama in the next couple of weeks."
"That will be a real sign that the Congress and the Administration are serious about getting manufacturing and this country back on the right track."
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology was founded in 1902 as the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association.
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– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering www.controleng.com