U.S. Leadership Prompting Allies to ‘Buy American’
‘It’s been the United States’ example that has helped our allies wake up from years of neglecting their commitments to defense. It’s confidence in our leadership and military edge that’s driving their historic efforts to start sharing more of the burden of collective security.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the U.S. defense industrial base:
“America’s status as a global superpower comes with global interests and global responsibilities.
“We have a direct interest in a stable and peaceful Middle East. And we have a responsibility to stand with Israel, our closest ally in the region, and to impose real costs on those who seek to harm U.S. personnel.
“We have a direct interest in preserving free commerce and deterring aggression in the Indo-Pacific. And we have a responsibility – to future generations of Americans – to win this century’s long-term strategic competition with communist China.
“And we have a direct interest in stability and security in Europe not only because we have treaty obligations to our NATO allies, but also because Europe is our largest trading partner, largest source of foreign direct investment, and a critical engine of our own economy.
“As I’ve explained repeatedly, the emergency funding we’ve appropriated in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine isn’t charity.
“These resources are helping a Western-oriented country degrade the military strength of a major U.S. adversary. Ukraine is blunting Putin’s tools of aggression and disrupting his imperial ambitions in Europe, and all without involving American servicemembers in the fight.
“But let’s be honest. Aside from the funds we’ve appropriated for U.S. military training and logistics support in Europe, the bulk of America’s security assistance is being spent in factories right here at home.
“Some of it goes to purchase new weapons for Ukraine. But far more of it is going to replenish our own arsenal.
“Our investment is growing American military strength to meet the challenges that come with global leadership.
“Since Vladimir Putin’s brutal escalation last year, the United States has invested $24 billion dollars in replenishing our arsenal with brand new capabilities.
“We’ve poured $692 million dollars into new munitions and tactical vehicles produced in Missouri. Almost a billion dollars in Alabama. And more than a billion dollars in Wisconsin.
“But our investment is also expanding our production capacity. That means more factory floor space, new production lines, and new shifts of workers – all to help meet future threats.
“State by state, we’re breathing new life into the arsenal of democracy. And, crucially, America’s allies and partners are following suit.
“They’re investing historic sums in their own militaries. They’re expanding their own defense industrial bases. And many are also choosing to Buy American.
“Poland has invested $3.75 billion dollars in new Abrams tanks from Michigan, Alabama, and Ohio. Estonia has spent half a billion dollars on HIMARs rocket systems from Texas. And Slovakia and Romania have spent a combined $350 million dollars on new tactical vehicles from Wisconsin.
“And it isn’t just European allies who recognize the need to modernize.
“Japan has allocated $1.3 billion dollars for new E-2 command and control aircraft from Florida.
“Australia has put $6.3 billion dollars toward new C-130 aircraft from Georgia. And Indonesia has invested $14 billion dollars on a new crop of F-15 fighter jets from Missouri.
“All told, America’s allies and partners have invested $120 billion and counting since February 2022 to rebuild their defense capabilities, right here in America.
“They’re buying American because they appreciate our cutting-edge technologies. Because they understand the importance of an interoperable combined force.
“But most of all, they’re buying American because of American leadership.
“It’s been the United States’ example that has helped our allies wake up from years of neglecting their commitments to defense. It’s confidence in our leadership and military edge that’s driving their historic efforts to start sharing more of the burden of collective security.
“And let’s get something absolutely clear: This will not continue if America loses its resolve.
“We don’t have the luxury of closing our gates and hoping for evil to leave us alone. America’s allies are waking up to that fact. Now is not the time for the leader of the free world to go to sleep.”
Related Issues: Russia, China, America's Military, NATO, Ukraine