The front-page story in the July 14 issue of Plastics News, “Defense bill could mandate 'Made in USA,' ” was very perplexing. I had a difficult time understanding the attitude of the Pentagon officials with regard to spending U.S. tax dollars on defense tooling “Made in the USA.” Suzanne Patrick's quotes are certainly classic with respect to paying premium costs for U.S.-made tooling. Where does, “We have to be judicious with our resources” come from? Judicious is a new government term to me. She goes on to say, “Putting more money into tooling and other programs would mean less money for research and development, and could spell job cuts elsewhere in the defense industry.” While these jobs may have some importance, they are not manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing jobs and national security are paramount to the well-being of the United States' people. As your article states, more than 2 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past three years. In my state of Pennsylvania alone, an average of 200 manufacturing jobs are being lost each day, seven days a week as reported by the PMA Legislative Bulletin. At this rate our country's manufacturing base will disappear in the near future. Somehow, the bleeding has to stop. The Defense Department and our elected government officials must recognize the importance of the U.S. metalworking industry and its importance to our national security by supporting a plan of 100 percent “Made in the USA” defense tooling.
David W. Lewis Sr.
Matrix Tool Inc.