Rep. Peters Introduces Bill to Bolster Ship Repair Industry in San Diego, Submits as Amendment to 2024 National Defense Authorization Act
July 10, 2023
Washington, DC – Today, Representative Scott Peters (CA-50) introduced the Smart Ship Repair Act (SSRA) of 2023. This bill promotes healthy market competition, transparency, and the Navy’s continued access to world-class private ship repair facilities on the West Coast. Currently, the Navy can use service-owned docks to perform maintenance on its non-nuclear surface fleet even when openings exist in private yards. This practice can disincentivize private sector investment in the ship repair market and threaten the labor force needed to support the Navy’s future fleet goals. The SSRA addresses this challenge by requiring the Navy to only use service-owned docks if there is insufficient private sector dock space.
“San Diego is home to a vibrant ship repair industry that supports the Navy’s force posture in the Asia-Pacific,” said Rep Peters. “This bill will further strengthen the San Diego-Navy partnership and ensure San Diego’s ship repair industry remains a leading national security partner as our country prepares for the threats of the future.”
The bill also requires the Secretary of the Navy to report to Congress when the Navy uses government docks when capacity in private yards exists and why and requires a study of how the Navy assesses costs unique to the ship repair industry.
“On behalf of over 3,300 NASSCO San Diego employees, we thank Congressman Peters for his introduction of the Smart Ship Repair Act of 2023. This legislation reflects his dedication and hard work to ensure that Navy repair contracts are awarded based on fairness and transparency. He and the San Diego Congressional Delegation continue to be first class partners with the local ship repair industrial base and their employees,” said Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO.
“BAE Systems appreciates Congressman Peters’ leadership and the recognition of the maritime industry’s value to San Diego’s economy. This legislation reflects the importance of Navy readiness and supports healthy competition, while encouraging industry to continue to invest in and maintain their drydocks. This legislation is a step in the right direction to sustain a strong partnership between the Navy and industry to ensure the Pacific Fleet’s warships are mission ready,” said Eric Icke, Vice President and General Manager of BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair.
“Austal USA appreciates the leadership of Congressman Peters in addressing the need for a stable and healthy defense ship repair industrial base. The Smart Ship Repair Act of 2023 introduced by Congressman Peters is an important step in ensuring a stronger, more capable ship repair capability in the San Diego homeport area in particular. We support and appreciate Congressman Peters’ leadership on this critical issue,” said Lawrence Ryder, Vice President, Business Development and External Affairs.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.