China’s Shipbuilding Stranglehold Jeopardizes U.S. Economic Strength and National Security 

Tags Trade with China

AAM President Scott Paul Testifies Before House Committee on the CCP

Washington, D.C. — America’s stunning shipbuilding capacity shortfall endangers U.S. economic strength and national security, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul testified before the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Wednesday. 

“Our nation has fallen frighteningly behind China as the result of decades of CCP policies aimed at dominating sectors, like shipbuilding, with clear economic and military applications,” Paul said. 

Though the United States was once a global leader in shipbuilding with the sector employing more than 180,000 workers at its height in 1975, it now produces only 10 oceanic commercial vessels annually while China produces more than 1,000 each year. Furthermore, China has more than 5,500 flagged merchant vessels in oceangoing service while the U.S. has fewer than 80.

“The largest obstacles to shipbuilding in the United States are the unfair trade practices of China,” Paul said. “While no nation should be faulted for seeking to develop maritime capabilities, Beijing’s ambitions go well beyond that.”

Paul praised the U.S. Trade Representative’s ongoing Section 301 investigation into Chinese maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding practices. The investigation was launched in April in response to a petition filed by the United Steelworkers and four other labor unions. 

“Existing policy measures are not enough to address the CCP’s predatory market distortions,” Paul said. 

An overwhelming majority (82%) of U.S. adults agrees that China’s dominance of the global shipbuilding industry is concerning, according to polling conducted by Morning Consult on AAM’s behalf this past December. Moreover, 76% agree that America’s shipbuilding should not be dependent on foreign manufacturers. 

AAM recently issued areportexamining the threat that Chinese overcapacity in critical industries, including solar, steel and autos, poses to the American manufacturing base. 

Find Paul’s oral testimony and written testimony.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul is available for interview.