National Security

Protecting and building our commercial shipbuilding industry is paramount to our national security.

The loss of shipbuilding capacity poses a grave threat to our national security.

According to a 2021 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) report, China surpassed the United States and now operates the world's largest navy. The U.S. merchant fleet is falling even further behind as China makes massive investments in its shipbuilding capacity.

In 2022, Chinese yards had order books that sat at nearly 1,800 large oceangoing ships, compared to only five in the United States. This growing gap costs us thousands of direct jobs and leaves us dangerously dependent on other nations to meet our critical needs.

According to U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, China has 13 shipyards, including one with more capacity than all of our shipyards combined. 

America has not only ceded its ability to build more ships, but also to repair them and maintain its fleet. Alarmingly, Chinese-built drydocks are being used to repair, maintain, and retrofit our very own U.S. Navy vessels.

While the U.S. government sidelined programs to foster and promote U.S. commercial shipbuilding, the Chinese Communist Party identified shipbuilding as a "strategic industry," pumping tens of billions of dollars in state-support into the sector.

In 1975, the domestic industry was a leader in global shipbuilding, building more than 70 commercial ships in American shipyards and employing 180,000 workers. 

In the early 1980s, federal spending for the construction and operation of the U.S. shipbuilding industry was significantly slashed. Following these cuts, U.S. commercial shipbuilding largely collapsed, unable to compete against foreign competitors that continued to operate with significant and growing subsidies from their own governments.

Tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs over the following decades, as major shipyards closed and our nation's shipbuilding industrial base was reduced from close to 30 major yards to only a handful.