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Support the Combating Military Counterfeiting Act of 2011

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SCHUMER: COUNTERFEITING OF MILITARY TECHNOLOGY IS PUTTING TROOPS LIVES AT RISK AND COULD THREATEN SYRACUSE COMPANIES LIKE LOCKHEED, SRC, SENSIS, & C SPEED – SCHUMER PUSHES LEGISLATION TO CRACKDOWN ON MAKERS OF FAKE MILITARY PARTS

 

A Government Study Shows That Counterfeit Military Components in Weapons Systems, Aircraft And Other Tools Are On The Rise – Threatens Troop Safety And The Brand Of CNY Defense Contractors

 

Current Law Treats Fake Military Part Makers Like Any Other Counterfeit Artist – Schumer Announces Support For Bill To Enhance Penalties On Those That Put Troops In Danger, Undermine CNY Businesses

 

Schumer: We Have To Crackdown On Fake Parts That Put Our Troops In Danger And Hurt Syracuse Businesses

 

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his support for legislation to crackdown on counterfeit parts in weapons systems, airplanes, and other equipment that are essential to keeping our men and women in uniform safe, and to protect key defense contractors in Central New York. According to the Department of Defense, the rise in counterfeit aircraft parts alone are leading to a "5 to 15% percent decrease in weapons systems reliability" each year, putting additional troops' lives at risk both at home and abroad. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of counterfeit military electronics ballooned by 250%. Last year, the Navy purchased 59,000 microchips for missiles, transponders and other equipment that turned out to be counterfeits from China. If the mistake had not been caught, missiles could have failed, and friendly aircraft could have been misidentified as hostile, and vice versa. Counterfeiters have been paid millions of U.S. tax dollars for their work, all while undermining major Syracuse defense contractors like Lockheed, Sensis, and SRC, and putting our troops in harm's way. If left unchecked, rampant counterfeiting could undermine sales and erode the brand of major employers in Central New York.

 

In order to crackdown on this growing problem, Schumer is pushing for quick passage of the Combating Military Counterfeiting Act of 2011, which would enhance penalties for those that are caught producing and selling fake weapons parts. Current law treats military counterfeiters like other counterfeiters, and does not account for the fact that these scam artists' products put lives on the line and create national security risks. The bill would dramatically increase penalties on these individuals, improving troop safety and protecting businesses that are essential to the health of Central New York.

 

"Traffickers in counterfeit military goods impose unacceptable risks on our men and women in uniform and our national security," said Schumer. "Criminals who have the audacity to put our troops at risk should not be treated the same as other con-artists; these heinous acts demand enhanced penalties. Counterfeiting is not just dangerous to our troops – it is also a job killer for our defense contractors right here in Central New York. These Syracuse workers produce some of the finest technology around, and shouldn't be undercut by scam artists looking to make a quick and dangerous buck. With both national and job security at risk, it is critical that we crack down on the trafficking of these phony military products."

 

"Our troops serving overseas have enough things to worry about each day – faulty equipment distributed by unscrupulous criminals should not be one of them," said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who authored this legislation. "Our men and women in uniform deserve the best, and this legislation will help, with harsher penalties for those who would send them into the field with shoddy or phony equipment."

 

"The US must endeavor to ensure the proper performance of every element of every electronic component that passes through the entire supply chain to the US war fighter," said David Lysack, President & CEO of C Speed, LLC, a supplier of electronic 'black box' solutions for the military. "As a New York State manufacturer of state-of-the-art electronic subsystems, we rely on US chip distributors to provide authentic chips which we select during the design and manufacture of hardware that we deliver to prime contractors both locally and across the US. We support the language in S. 1228 that endeavors to raise the integrity of the supply chain which must be verified and protected at all times."

 

"Allred & Associates and Propulsive Wing take great pride in developing and manufacturing products used in military systems; however, both companies have experienced foreign entities, in particular ones from China, copying our products and violating intellectual property," said Joe Kummer, Principal Scientist of Allred & Associates, Inc. "It is important we take steps to ensure such products are not integrated into critical military hardware, since not only does it affect our companies and livelihoods, but potentially threatens the safety of the troops who are in harm's way on our behalf."

 

Schumer visited SRC's main headquarters in Syracuse and was joined by SRC President Paul Tremont and SRC executives Gary Stevens and Drew James, Lockheed Business Development Manager Anthony Rosemarino, and Sensis Government Relations Director Dick Cauchon for the announcement. Schumer announced that he is cosponsoring and pushing for quick passage of the bipartisan Combating Military Counterfeits Act of 2011, which would increase the penalties for people that are caught producing and selling fake weapons parts. Current law treats military counterfeiters like any other counterfeiters, and does not account for the fact that these scam artists' products put lives on the line and create national security risks. Originally introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Combating Military Counterfeits Act would dramatically increase penalties on these criminals, improving troop safety and protecting businesses that are essential to the health of Central New York.

 

Under the current counterfeit trafficking statute, sentences imposed on traffickers in military counterfeits do not reflect the grave dangers that these products pose to our troops. The Combating Military Counterfeits Act would address this deficiency by creating a new criminal provision that specifically targets trafficking in military counterfeits and doubling penalties for criminals who know that the counterfeit product they sell is intended for use by the military or is identified as meeting military standards. The legislation raises the maximum penalty for these types of offenses from 10 to 20 years and directs the Sentencing Commission to update sentencing guidelines to reflect the fact that counterfeit military equipment poses a more serious health and national security risk than most counterfeit consumer products.

 

Schumer noted that there is an increasing threat to the United States military being posed by the infiltration of the supply chain by counterfeit products. These products do not meet military standards, putting troops' lives at risk, compromising military readiness, costing taxpayers millions in replacement costs, and, in the case of microelectronics, providing an avenue for cyber security threats to enter military systems. According to the Department of Defense, counterfeit aircraft parts alone were leading to a "5 to 15% percent decrease in weapons systems reliability" each and every year. Additionally, between 2005 and 2008, the number of counterfeit military electronics ballooned by 250%. A recent GAO report noted that "counterfeit parts…have the potential to seriously disrupt the Department of Defense supply chain, delay missions, and affect the integrity of weapon systems. Almost anything is at risk of being counterfeited, from fasteners used on aircraft to electronics used on missile guidance systems."

 

Schumer noted that the Government Accountability Office recently reported a few instances in which the Defense Department discovered in testing that it had procured body armor that was misrepresented as being "Kevlar," and that a supplier sold the Defense Department a circuit from a simple personal computer that it falsely claimed was a $7,000 circuit that met the specifications of a missile guidance system. These military goods are essential to the safety of our troops and to the success of military missions.

 

In 2010, the U.S. military bought over 59,000 microchips destined for installation in everything from missile defense systems to transponders, and other equipment that turned out to be counterfeits from China. If the mistake had not been caught, missiles could have failed, and friendly aircraft could have been misidentified as hostile, and vice versa.

 

The U.S. Airforce has received fake microprocessors, the U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of computer routers, and the U.S. Army received counterfeit seatbelt clasps, all of which can put troops' lives at risk. A Saudi national living in Texas was found guilty last year of selling counterfeit "Gigabit Interface Converters" to the U.S. Marine Corps. After buying 200 converters from a Chinese vendor for $25 each, he billed the Marines for $595 per converter until being arrested, according to the Department of Defense Inspector General's office.

 

Counterfeiters are being paid millions of U.S. tax dollars for their work, all while undermining major Syracuse defense contractors like SRC, Lockheed Martin, and Sensis, all while putting our troops in harm's way. If left unchecked, rampant counterfeiting not only undercuts sales but could also erode the brand of major employers in Central New York, threatening jobs at leading employers like SRC, Lockheed Martin, Sensis, and C-Speed.

 

Central New York is home to numerous defense contractors that employ hundreds of New Yorkers, all of whom support Schumer's push for the Combating Military Counterfeits Act of 2011, noting that military counterfeiting poses a threat to business, and the safety of American troops. SRC was created by Syracuse University in 1957, and for more than 50 years has supported a broad range of federal government organizations and agencies and has developed a national reputation in a wide array of technology areas. In defense, SRC is involved in advanced radar, electronic warfare and communications systems with worldwide applications throughout all branches of the military. Lockheed Martin specializes in providing solutions to complex technological issues, and provides expertise in air power, air traffic, homeland security, missiles and missile defense, radar systems, fire control and more. Sensis Corporation is a global provider of air defense, air traffic control, radar and data integration and distribution. C Speed, LLC is one of the United States' leading suppliers of electronic 'black box' solutions specializing in High Performance Analog and Digital Receivers as well as signal processing for military, medical, and test & measurement applications.

 

The bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Semiconductor Industry Association

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