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Reagan Institute’s Task Force Calls for Modernization of Defense Production Act; Marillyn Hewson Quoted

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A Reagan Institute task force has released a report outlining four recommendations to revitalize U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and secure critical supply chains.

These recommendations from the Task Force on National Security and U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness are modernizing the Defense Production Act for the 21st Century, scaling up workforce development programs, establishing a public-private capability to support investments in domestic manufacturing sectors critical to national security and forming a new global forum to facilitate coordination on geoeconomic issues, the Reagan Institute said Tuesday.

“The economic and national security threat from China cannot be ignored,” said Marillyn Hewson, co-chair of the task force and former chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin.

“There is bipartisan support to take action, and this report identifies steps that we can take to strengthen and leverage investments in infrastructure, facilities, technology, and most importantly, people,” added Hewson, a six-time Wash100 Award winner. She co-chairs the task force with David McCormick, CEO of Bridgewater Associates and a former undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs.

According to the report, updating the Defense Production Act will enable holistic measures for critical production facilities, including directed project financing, targeted visa approvals for STEM talent, investments in workforce training and automatic fast-tracking of permits.

The task force offered the recommendations after identifying six challenges to reinvigorating the country’s manufacturing competitiveness, including technical skills gap, unsatisfactory productivity gains and inadequate capital investment in manufacturing.