U.S. House and Senate leaders are discussing a proposed ‘Ships Act’ to dramatically upgrade U.S. naval and commercial shipbuilding along the lines of the $52 billion CHIPS Act supporting U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, according to Luke Lorenz, Director of Legislative Affairs, Navy League of the United States.
Lorenz was the keynote speaker at the Propeller Club of Northern California Maritime Day webinar on May 23rd.
Lorenz outlined the Ships Act concept to the Propeller Club audience: “The potential for something … would be called the Ships Act. Again, I say ‘potential’ because this is still very much … in the brainstorming phase, but this discussion is happening among a number of important offices that we’ve been speaking with in the Senate and the House … that carry a lot of weight … a bill that would somewhat mirror the CHIPS Act, which of course was intended to bring back production of microchip manufacturing to the United States … that had a number of provisions to bolster that industrial base and produce at … various facilities … microchips. There’s an interest in doing something similar for the shipbuilding industrial base with a significant investment in our public shipyards …a number of different incentive programs for private and smaller shipyards (with) emphasis on workforce development.”
Lorenz explained that shipbuilding is now a top national security priority as China ramps up its naval and commercial shipbuilding: “Expanding shipbuilding has impacts far beyond just our shipyards. It also impacts a number of other … tangential industries as well … We don’t necessarily need to be on a one-for-one basis with China. China has expansive shipbuilding capacity, but let’s bear in mind that we still make a more capable, more advanced ship. So, we don’t need to necessarily be on that one-for-one basis with China. However, we do need a certain number of ships in our fleet to be able to counter a larger maritime force coming from the Chinese if such a conflict were to occur. And so, this type of shipbuilding program … is absolutely imperative”Share