President Biden Invokes Defense Production Act to Address Nationwide Shortage of Baby Formula

United States President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on May 18 in an attempt to boost the supply of baby formula amid a nationwide shortage.

“Today, I’m invoking what they call the Defense Production Act to ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home,” Biden said in a video message from the White House.

The Act, which allows the government more control over industrial production during emergencies, directs firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key baby formula inputs to increase production and expedite supply chains.

The Act requires suppliers to provide the needed resources to baby formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered those goods.

In addition to invoking the Act, Biden also launched a program called Operation Fly Formula, which directs the Department of Health and the Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to utilize U.S. military aircraft to import formula from abroad.

“I further request that over the next week you work with the Department of Defense to utilize contracted aircraft to accelerate the arrival of infant formula into the United States that meets our Government’s health and safety standards,” Biden said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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