July 19, 2007
Congressional Shipbuilding Conference meets manufacturers
Today the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus (CSC) co-chaired by Representatives Gene Taylor (D-MS) and Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), met with ship component manufacturers to hear about the impact that low rates of naval shipbuilding have had on their companies and the challenges confronting the ship manufacturing industrial base.
The manufacturers that met with the caucus included: Craig Hansen of BWXT/ Babcock and Wilcox in Mount Vernon, IN; Walter Herr of Fairbanks Morse Engine in Beloit, WI; Roy Arnold of IMECO, Inc. in Iron Mountain, MI; Michael Stobbart of Lister Chain and Forge, Inc. in Blaine, WA; and Terry Sterling of Nelson Stud Welding in Elyria, OH. Their companies manufacture nuclear propulsion system components, diesel engines, ship heating and cooling systems, ship anchor and mooring chains, and welding systems, respectively. The industry representatives highlighted their challenges in maintaining and training a workforce and their cost structure in the face of low and unstable ship production in the United States. They stressed the need for larger shipbuilding budgets to provide economies of scale to lower the cost of systems and components across all ship platforms.
Co-chairman Gene Taylor (D-MS), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI), Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) emphasized the support offered by the House Authorization and Appropriations committees by adding more ships than were requested in the President's budget for fiscal year 2008. These members expressed their strong support for Navy and Coast Guard shipbuilding programs to meet national security requirements, legislation to require the domestic manufacture of ships and their components, and the Title XI Commercial Ship Loan Guarantee Program.
Cynthia L. Brown, President of the American Shipbuilding Association stated, "It is important for all Members of Congress with ship system and component manufacturing businesses in their districts to know how important Navy, Coast Guard, and commercial shipbuilding is to the economy and jobs in their districts. These companies are located in almost every state--not just in coastal states that have shipyards."
The American Shipbuilding Association is the national trade association of the shipbuilding industry. ASA members include the nation's six largest shipyards and 87 companies engaged in the design and manufacture of ship systems, components, technologies, equipment, and in providing technical support services.