Pentagon bought 1 million counterfeit parts from China

Tue, 11/08/2011

America's defense supply chain put at risk by purchase of counterfeit, salvaged products from China.

The U.S. Department of Defense has been buying counterfeit electronic parts from China.

A Senate Armed Services Committee investigation led by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) has reviewed more than 100,000 pages of Defense Department documents along with material from more than 70 companies. Their finding: In 1,800 cases, the U.S. Department of Defense has purchased counterfeit electronics from China. In all, the purchases run to more than 1 million parts.

The suspect components include salvaged and recycled parts that were "burned off old circuit boards, washed in rivers, dried on streets and sanded down to remove identifying marks." 

The components were subsequently installed in such key defense systems as the Air Force's C-17 airplane, the Marine Corps' CH-46 helicopter, and the Army's Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. 

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul says this sourcing from China has made the U.S. defense industrial base more vulnerable. 

Said Paul:

"We commend Senators Levin and McCain for investigating this critical issue. The Department of Defense isn't helping our defense industrial base when it permits sourcing from China. And now we are paying the price in more ways than one.

"DoD has adopted a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to trade with China. The American people would be appalled to learn that their tax dollars are being spent on suspect parts that put U.S. soldiers at risk. Taxpayer dollars should be used to purchase safe, high-quality, American-made goods that support key jobs in important industrial sectors.

"This investigation is a good start, but to preserve our national security, Congress must insist that DoD stop sourcing critical components from China."

AAM has investigated concerns that deindustrialization now poses a threat to U.S. national security. For example, research by Michael Webber of the University of Texas at Austin found that 13 of 16 key defense industrial sectors have experienced "significant erosion" without any signs of recovery.  Webber explored this issue at length in a chapter of AAM's recent book 'Manufacturing a Better Future for America.'

CLICK HERE to read Michael Webber's investigation into the overall erosion of America's industrial defense capabilities.

CLICK HERE to read more on counterfeit defense parts from China.

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