January 19, 2021
Dear Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be Secretary of Defense. He is an exceptionally well-qualified nominee, and, from the perspective of the U.S. business community, he is well prepared to tackle the national and international security policy challenges facing the U.S.
General Austin’s 40-year military service affords him an intimate knowledge of the Department of Defense and of what is required to meet U.S. national security objectives. His years spent leading our forces, along with our coalition partners, has afforded the General a unique opportunity to observe first-hand the critical contributions of Allied and partner nations to U.S. national security.
The work of the Department of Defense is critical for national security, the advancement of American values around the globe, and in advancing U.S. economic and trade interests. The vital role played by American defense industries in preparing Allied and partner nation militaries for conflict is a role that General Austin clearly understands. The Chamber believes that now is the time to prioritize American leadership in rebuilding our diplomacy, revitalizing our Alliances, and rallying the world to help counter global threats to our security.
Uniting our Allies and partner nations to stand with us to defeat global threats is a shared responsibility, but one the Secretary of Defense will have as a top priority. The U.S. business community is a critical component for success, and General Austin’s long record of accomplishment demonstrates that he is prepared for this mission. The Chamber urges the Committee on Armed Services to approve his nomination.
Suzanne P. Clark
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services