A core threat to the American industrial base comes from China. According to the report, “China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security,” including a “growing number of both widely used and specialized metals, alloys and other materials, including rare earths and permanent magnets.”
The American military is also heavily dependent on foreign suppliers in such critical areas as printed circuit boards, machine tools, materials for propulsion systems and even nuclear warheads. As the report notes: “Because the supply chain is globalized and complex, it is challenging to ensure that finished assemblies, subsystems, and systems” for nuclear warheads utilize “trusted, discrete components due to diminishing U.S.-based microelectronic and electronic manufacturing capability.”
Even the lowly, but increasingly high-tech, tent is at risk. With much of the American textile industry moving offshore, the United States no longer has the capability to manufacture high-tenacity polyester fiber. A similar problem exists for rechargeable batteries, which are vital parts across myriad applications.