policy initiative that implicitly encourages foreign participation of this type—an open approach required by the circumstances.
Just as success is not assured for Newport News-IHI alliance in LNG tankers, there is no guarantee that the MARITECH program as a whole or the individual projects involving Japanese companies will succeed in revitalizing U.S. commercial shipbuilding capabilities. A favorable market environment for the remainder of this decade may represent a critical window of opportunity, since the demand for various types of commercial ships is projected to rise significantly. Japan’s high production costs and growing competition with Korean and other shipbuilders may lead to expanded opportunities for U.S.-Japan alliances that produce long-term, mutual benefits.
In light of the DoD’s recent efforts to pursue a more reciprocal U.S.-Japan exchange of technologies through the Technology-for-Technology initiative, and U.S. government technology policies more broadly, the MARITECH experiment should perhaps be studied closely as the results become more clear over the next several years. As an existing program in which the DoD is facilitating transfer of Japanese and other foreign technologies to build the dual-use capabilities of U.S. companies, it could serve as a model for future initiatives to the extent that it succeeds.