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'Enough is enough,' Sen. Baldwin announces investigation on China shipbuilding

China is in control of close to 50% of global shipbuilding capacity, leaders with national security concerns.
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 22, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — The Biden administration is launching an investigation over China's handling of the shipbuilding industry. Senator Tammy Baldwin is behind the effort to crack down on what they call "cheating" tactics.

  • Sen. Baldwin visited Green Bay to announce her efforts to urge the Biden Administration to investigate China's shipbuilding tactics.
  • Baldwin, manufacturing organizations believe domestic manufacturing needs to be prioritized.
  • Leaders believe relying heavily on foreign suppliers can lead to possible security breaches if a greater conflict were to happen with the U.S.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Senator Baldwin speaking at Fincantieri Ace Marine about an investigation into China over unfair shipbuilding practices.

"When a shipyard goes out of business or the production of essential parts heads overseas, we lose jobs good paying jobs, union jobs, but we also lose the knowledge of these tradesmen who have found careers and planted roots in our communities," Senator Baldwin said.

Senator Baldwin says she was among the lawmakers pushing the Biden administration to investigate.

According to the Office of Naval Intelligence, China's shipbuilding industry holds 232 times the shipbuilding capacity of the U.S.

Senator Baldwin says China is taking many unfair steps, including using forced child labor and side-stepping environmental regulations.

Local members of the united steelworkers and Alliance for American Manufacturing now support the investigation.

"Our nation lost more 70,000 shipbuilding jobs, 70,000 shipbuilding jobs," Dennis Lauer of United Steelworkers District 7 said.

"The truth is America needs more shops like Ace Marine, we used to have them," Meghan Hasse, field coordinator at Alliance for American Manufacturing, said. "But other countries decided to invest in their own shipbuilding industries at the same time our country decided not to."

I reached out to her challenger for her senate seat in 2024, Eric Hovde, to see if he had a reaction to the U.S. Investigation.

His campaign responded, in part:

"China is a growing threat to America's national security, economy, and way of life, and sen. Baldwin's support for skyrocketing debt and open borders has made our country weaker."

Senator Baldwin also spoke to national security concerns, stating that China's control over shipbuilding could lead to security breaches in the event of a conflict.

A public hearing of the investigation will take place on May 29.