Intelligence and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing

By Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News The U.S. intelligence community will prepare a National Intelligence Estimate on the implications of the continuing decline in U.S. manufacturing capacity, said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) citing recent news reports. “Last month Forbes reported that the continued erosion of the U.S. manufacturing base has gotten so serious that the Director of National Intelligence has begun preparation of a National Intelligence Estimate… to assess the security implications of the decline of American manufacturing,” said Rep. Schakowsky, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “Our growing reliance on imports and lack of industrial infrastructure has become a national security concern,” said Rep. Schakowsky. She spoke at a March 16 news conference (at 28:10) in opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. The Forbes report referenced by Rep. Schakowsky was “Intelligence Community Fears U.S. Manufacturing Decline,” by Loren Thompson, February 14. The decision to prepare an intelligence estimate was first reported by Richard McCormack in “Intelligence Director Will Look at National Security Implications of U.S. Manufacturing Decline,” Manufacturing & Technology News, February 3. Rep. Schakowsky told the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade (March 25) that she hopes a “declassified portion” of the NIE will be publicly released. But according to the Congressional Research Service, that may be unlikely. “There seems to be an emerging consensus that publicly releasing NIEs, or even unclassified summaries, has limitations. Some of the nuances of classified intelligence judgments are lost and there are concerns that public release of an unclassified summary of a complicated situation does not effectively serve the legislative process.” See “Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?” (pdf), January 6, 2011. “With 14 million Americans out of a job we should not be considering a trade deal that will ship additional jobs overseas,” said Rep. Schakowsky, referring to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. “Instead, we need to work to rebuild the American manufacturing sector, creating jobs at home. And instead of approving FTAs (free trade agreements) that will offshore more American jobs, we need to establish a trade policy that benefits American workers and the entire American economy,” she said. The CRS (pdf) cited a study which concluded that overall changes in aggregate U.S. employment attributable to the US-Korea agreement “would be negligible given the much larger size of the U.S. economy compared to the South Korean economy. However, while some sectors, such as livestock producers, would experience increases in employment, others such as textile, wearing apparel, and electronic equipment manufacturers would be expected to experience declines in employment.” Accordingly, the “U.S. beef sector” supports the agreement, while some labor unions oppose it. See original post here