July 09, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted the NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum, the first-ever NATO endorsed working conference between leading defense industry business leaders, allied defense ministers, and top NATO officials to boost defense production and transatlantic industrial cooperation.

Occurring alongside the 75th NATO Summit, the Chamber Forum brought together NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, defense ministers from the Allied nations, and business leaders from key defense companies including Oracle, RTX, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics.  

Suzanne P. Clark, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said, “In an increasingly dangerous world, it is essential that America and our NATO allies restock the traditional ‘arsenals of democracy,’ while simultaneously building the capacity to meet the threats of the future. Needed increases in defense production require greater transatlantic cooperation between both governments and industry. Thwarting cyber-attacks and meaningfully preparing for an AI future can only be achieved through partnership between government and the private sector. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pleased to host the first NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum to ensure that the alliance can continue to safeguard the security of its members.” 

During the NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum, Sullivan outlined a series of measures to strengthen U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine. These include establishing a new military command in Germany led by a three-star general to oversee the training and equipping of Ukrainian troops and appointing a senior representative in Kyiv to enhance Ukraine's relationship with the alliance. Emphasizing NATO's long-term commitment to standing with Ukraine, Sullivan said, “Putin cannot divide us. He cannot outlast us. He cannot weaken us. And Ukraine, not Russia, will prevail.”

Sullivan also announced that, for the first time ever, NATO countries will each pledge to make plans to strengthen their own industrial defense capacity. This effort would help the alliance prioritize production of the most vital defense equipment.

Speaking at the Chamber’s Forum, Secretary General Stoltenberg announced NATO has signed a nearly $700 million contract to have member countries produce more Stinger missiles.

Noting that the alliance is faced with serious security challenges, he called for increased cooperation, more investments in defense, and highlighted the need to work more closely with the defense industry. “There is no way to provide strong defense without a strong defense industry,” he said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks said, “The war in Ukraine revealed how nation state aggression is a real threat requiring information age ingenuity and industrial era capacity. The rapid defense industrial expansion of our strategic competitors has revealed how defense industries across the Atlantic were affected by decades of inconsistent funding, blinkered demand signals. Together, our task is to deliver combat credible capabilities to our warfighters at speed and scale so they can deter aggression against NATO populations and territory and win if called to fight."

Organized in collaboration with NATO and the White House, the Forum featured five working groups, themed around munitions and air defense production capacity; tech innovation; strengthening cyber defenses; adopting and adapting to artificial intelligence; and space capabilities. Each working group’s findings and proposed policy changes for the alliance will form the basis for NATO’s policy work beginning this Fall and will have a lasting impact over the next two years.