In July of this year, President Trump ordered a review of the nation’s manufacturing and defense industrial base, which was released this month. The latest analysis from National Taxpayers Union Foundation Associate Fellow Pavel A. Yakovlev warns against protectionist measures recommended in the report and how recent trade policy trend along with failing top-down policies could make America less safe, less prepared and leave the taxpayers footing an even larger defense bill.
"President Trump’s 2017 executive order and the subsequent report it generated carry with them a serious risk of crony capitalism, where the government picks winners and losers in the private sector for political gain. Protectionist policies such as 'Buy American' provisions are often touted as being good for America’s industrial base and national security. In actuality, these laws protect powerful, entrenched businesses from competition, foreign or domestic, often forcing the U.S. military to source inferior or overpriced products from domestic firms that should not be considered 'key defense industries.' "
Forcing America to revert back to 1930's-era protectionist policies will make it more expensive to arm our military and defend our nation. The American economy has shifted from focusing on industrial changes to technology and innovation, which would be put on hold should we have to start producing many materials used in military equipment that we now import. Free trade is essential to the American economy and the American military, both of which are being threatened by this Administration's move toward protectionism.