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“You can’t just take a product off the shelf and say it’s similar because it’s got to meet all of those specific specifications,” Mr. Giannini said, adding that a major slowdown in ship repairs or construction occurs would force his company to focus on products it makes in other countries.

Darrell Grow, chief operating officer of the flange-making firm Ammcon Corp., said it would take months and tens of thousands of dollars to replace specialized welders. Each welder takes at least six months of training and testing, and costs about $10,000 to become certified to work on Navy ships, he said.

“When I need them to come back to do future work, they’re not going to be there for me and I have to start over,” Mr. Grow said.