Strengthening the U.S. Defense Maritime Industrial Base: A Plan to Improve Maritime Industry’s Contribution to National Security

CSBA’s report finds that a robust maritime industry, and the policies that support it, are increasingly important in an era of great power competition. However, the maritime industry and the broader national security innovation base face a range of pressures ranging from high regulatory compliance costs to predatory subsidized foreign competition that undermine their long-term viability, ability to innovate, and capacity to support future military operations. To effectively compete, the United States will need to break with an approach that assumes the commercial and national security requirements of the maritime industry are largely distinct. Instead, the United States should adopt a new approach that recognizes the inherent linkage between the two and fosters a healthier commercial industry that can support U.S. national security. CSBA’s report identifies viable, cost-effective initiatives the nation can adopt to address challenges, including the strategic sealift gap, and cultivate a vibrant maritime industrial base that spurs innovation and enhances American prosperity and security.