PITTSBURGH, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement today from USW International President Leo W. Gerard after the release of the report "Remaking American Security: Supply Chain Vulnerabilities and National Security Risks Across the U.S. Defense Industrial Base.":
"It has been clear for decades that our national defense needs do not begin and end at the walls of the Pentagon. The health of American manufacturing has always been vital to the health of the American economy. As this study shows, it also is vital to the health of our national defense.
"As the report notes, the contributions that our workers and our soldiers make to national security are inextricably intertwined. Without a solid economic base of manufacturing, we cannot hope to retain our status as a preeminent world power, neither economically nor militarily. American workers, including hundreds of thousands of USW members, make the best and most reliable products in the world, and America's warfighters deserve no less when they put their lives on the line in protection of our liberty.
"The statistics do not lie: Since 2000, we have lost more than 31 percent of this country's manufacturing jobs. Unless we can reverse the effects that short-term corporate greed, globalization and unfair trade have had on our economy over the past 13 years, these negative trends are sure to continue.
"A report like this also brings into clearer focus the pain of the sequester. These unnecessary cuts are a double whammy: They affect both our system of national defense and the workers who need the good jobs that system has created. Cutting is the opposite of what we should be doing.
"This report should be a wake-up call for our leaders. We need immediate action to revitalize our manufacturing base: It is long past time to implement fair trade, provide tax incentives that encourage domestic manufacturing, increase support for education and innovation, improve our aging infrastructure, and reinvest in American workers."
The USW represents 850,000 members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels and municipal governments and agencies.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)