A new report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing has United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard renewing his call to repair the crumbling American infrastructure. The report, prepared by Republican former head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Robert B. Stephan, a former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection, draws disturbing correlations between weak infrastructure and lack of domestic manufacturing with the ability to respond to and recover from disasters and terrorism.
The report reads like an assessment on national security, with Ridge and Stephan referring to the decimation of the American steel industry, the sorry state of infrastructure and over-reliance on foreign actors as indicative of America’s vulnerable position. Ridge and Stephan go so far as to state that placing the building blocks of America in foreign hands leaves them susceptible to substandard labor and hostile political forces. Ridge and Stephan cite toxic Chinese wallboard used for post-Katrina construction and Chinese-made sections of the [San Francisco-]Oakland Bay Bridge that were sent back due to manufacturing defects as examples.