Representatives of Hawaii businesses appeared before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee's Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry at a roundtable held at the Hawaii State Capitol this morning. Congressmen Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), respectively Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee's Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry, and Panel member Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) comprised today's panel. Hanabusa represents Hawaii's First Congressional District.
"I want to thank Congresswoman Hanabusa for hosting the panel in her district today," said Congressman Bill Shuster (PA09), Chairman of the Panel on Business Challenges Within the Defense Industry. "Today's roundtable provided us with a frank discussion on how Congress can create an environment where small and medium sized companies can thrive in the complex world of defense contracting. We live in a world of shrinking federal budgets and we need to learn to do more with less. In defense, that means lowering cost through increased competition and diversifying our defense industrial base."
"Congresswoman Hanabusa's work on this panel has been critical to its success so far," Shuster added. "She has attended and contributed to every roundtable and hearing the panel has organized and her work ethic has been second to none."
"Today's discussion was a great contribution to the meetings our panel has held over the last few months," said Congressman Rick Larsen (WA02), who co-chairs the panel. "I join Congressman Shuster in thanking Congresswoman Hanabusa for hosting the panel in her district. These meetings let us hear directly from small businesses about the challenges they face when contracting with the Department of Defense. Small businesses are true innovators and important job-creators. They have a great deal to contribute to the nation's defense, and this panel, with our field meetings and hearings in the capital, will identify ways to help them overcome the obstacles they face."
"I'd like to thank Chairman Schuster and Congressman Larsen for coming to Hawaii to hear from our contractors," Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI01) said. "As America's doorstep to the Pacific, Hawaii plays a key role in our nation's defense, and our businesses are ready to play important roles as well. They are prepared to plant the seeds of innovation that will make our country and our military strong, and present opportunities that will help our economy grow."
Participants in the roundtable included representatives of Oceanit, Dream Hammer, Referentia Systems, General Atomics, and Hawaiya Technologies.
The purpose of the Business Challenges panel is to:
· Examine the current defense business environment and look at contracting or regulatory issues facing the defense industry.
· Identify the use of incentives and mandates to shape the defense business environment.
· Determine structural challenges facing various sectors within of the industrial base, including universities and research institutes.
· Analyze the impact of the current fiscal environment on the defense industry, at both the prime and subcontractor levels; and opportunities to reduce barriers to entry.
· Explore how the Department of Defense can encourage new entrants into the industrial base and foster the transition of technology.