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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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National Defense Authorization Act Includes Cicilline Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing and...

National Defense Authorization Act Includes Cicilline Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing and National Security Interests

Hellenic News
Hellenic News
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote later today on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – the defense authorization conference report that resulted from negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers after their respective chambers passed different defense authorization bills earlier this year.

 

The conference report that now will be voted on in the House and Senate includes language initially adopted last May after it was offered by U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) to create greater opportunities for American manufacturers to compete for procurement contracts with the Afghan National Defense Security Forces, and to analyze the impact of the U.S. arms embargo on Cyprus’ national security and counterterrorism efforts.

 

“While I have many concerns regarding this year’s NDAA, the inclusion of these two amendments will help improve a flawed bill. As our manufacturing sector continues to grow, it’s important to ensure the Departments of Defense and State are actively engaging American companies about contract opportunities that will help create good-paying jobs for middle class families,” said Cicilline. “I am also pleased that this bill will include my proposal to improve our relationship with Cyprus by studying the impact of an arms embargo that is no longer in our national security interests. These two amendments are significant improvements to the underlying bill.”

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Cicilline’s “Brickle amendment,” which is included in the NDAA conference report, imposes new transparency requirements by requiring the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State to document their respective efforts to engage American manufacturers on procurement opportunities to equip Afghan National Defense Security Forces. The proposal is named for longtime Rhode Island textile manufacturer Sam Brickle, chairman of the board of the Brickle Group in Woonsocket, who met with Cicilline last year and raised concerns that the Department of Defense was not required to notify American manufacturers about overseas military contracts.

 

“For many years U.S. tax dollars have been used to finance the purchase of military supplies for foreign governments. Unfortunately these purchases have been directed not toward U.S. companies, but toward countries such as China and Pakistan. However, the past few months have been a time of enlightenment for the US defense FMS department. Many US textile companies have been awarded contracts to outfit the Afghan Army and police. I believe this is solely attributable to the visibility that the Brickle Amendment has brought to the US government procurement contractors,” said Max Brickle, President at the Brickle Group. “We would like to see an expansion of the Brickle Amendment to include all foreign Military and State Department procurements. It only seems right that our tax  dollars be used to buy high quality U.S.-made goods.”

 

In addition, the NDAA also includes language offered by Cicilline to require the Secretaries of Defense and State to submit a report to Congress assessing the impact of the embargo on Cyprus’ national security and counterterrorism efforts. The outdated policy, which dates back to 1992, bans the export of defensive weapons to the Republic of Cyprus. It fails to reflect the current relationship Cyprus enjoys with the United States as a key ally and strategic partner in the Global War on Terror. Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) co-sponsored the Cyprus amendment.

 

The U.S. Senate will vote on the NDAA conference report next week. The inclusion of Cicilline’s language in today’s conference report marks an important step towards strengthening American manufacturing and enhancing ties with Cyprus as the legislative process continues.

 

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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