WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Biden Administration altered the U.S. Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) policy:
“Our nation faces growing threats around the world, and our defense industry is struggling to meet the demand for weapons our country and allies need. Now is not the time to politicize what was an effective policy. Instead of ceding U.S. strength and leadership, we must support our allies and partners in the face of aggression from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Doing so meaningfully would actually further our national security and defense strategies, which this new policy does not.”
In 2018, the Trump Administration changed the policy to elevate the importance of U.S. economic security, a move which directed the U.S. government to prioritize strengthening our defense industrial base. The failure of the Biden Administration to reaffirm the importance of the economic component of our CAT policy at the same time we are facing historic challenges in our industrial base reflects the administration’s fundamental misunderstanding of the challenges we and our allies and partners are facing to obtain the weapons we need to keep our country safe and to deter aggression around the world. Further, the absence of transparent criteria from this administration for evaluating arms transfers has created an uncertain business environment for U.S. industry detracting from their competitiveness and their ability to plan for investments and finalize financial projections in the face of supply chain constraints and work force shortages.