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Washington, D.C. — Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Vice-Chairman Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-01) today released the below letter urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to clarify the Navy’s future shipbuilding plans. Murphy and Visclosky wrote that certainty regarding the Navy’s long-term acquisition strategy would help the nation’s steelmakers, which are key players in the defense industrial base, grow and create jobs.
“Our Navy’s ability to protect our shores and promote global peace depends on a robust domestic steel industry capable of producing the millions of tons needed by all branches of the Armed Forces,” said Congressman Tim Murphy.“And with nearly one million American jobs tied to steelmaking, the Department of Defense must act swiftly to give manufacturers the certainty and stability necessary to plan and grow in this economy.”
“As our economy continues to emerge from recession, America’s steelworkers and their families deserve to have the certainty that they are trusted to build the finest warships in the world,” said Congressman Peter Visclosky. “I urge Secretary Panetta to remember the crucial relationship between the steel industry and the United States Navy as he develops our long-term shipbuilding strategy.”
The full letter can be read below.
December 10, 2012
The Honorable Leon Panetta
Department of Defense
Washington, D.C. 20301
Dear Secretary Panetta:
We write today as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus to stress the critical relationship between our naval industrial base and the domestic steel industry.
A strong and powerful navy is crucial to protect our nation, maintain global security, and secure maritime trading routes.
The defense industrial base relies on a steel industry capable of rapid production of millions of metric tons used in building and maintaining America’s navy. Since the production of steel is both labor and capital intensive, steelmakers must have certainty and predictability. Therefore, we urge you to maintain stability in planning as you consider future shipbuilding acquisition proposals.
Our naval shipbuilding base must have access to the highest-quality, American-made steel. The production of one aircraft carrier, which generates more than $3 billion of economic activity and supports thousands of manufacturing jobs, requires $265 million worth of American steel.
A healthy domestic steel sector is not only critical to national security, but also our nation’s economy. From steelworkers to coal miners to machinists and fabricators, the steel supply chain supports over 930,000 American jobs and contributes $17.5 billion to our gross domestic product. Thousands of towns and communities across the United States are dependent on the success of steelmaking, which in turn is reliant on a predictable and stable defense acquisition.
We thank you in advance for keeping those factors in mind as you develop the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding strategy.
Rep. Tim Murphy Rep. Peter J. Visclosky
Chairman Vice Chairman
Congressional Steel Caucus Congressional Steel Caucus
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