Following is a statement from the President Donald J. Trump regarding the Defense Production Act Issued on: March 27, 2020
“Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators. Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
Separately but related, during a Friday coronavirus task force briefing, President Donald Trump named current Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro as the policy coordinator for the Defense Production Act, describing it as “a very important position…. more important probably than it’s almost ever been in our country.”
Navarro, a Harvard-educated Ph.D. economist and long-time Trump Administration appointee, noted:
“We are engaged in the most significant industrial mobilization since World War II. We have a wartime president fighting an invisible enemy and we have the full force of government coupled with the full power of bearing down on this problem for the American people.”
Memorandum on Order
Under the Defense Production Act Regarding General Motors Company
Issued on: March 27, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBJECT: Order Under the Defense Production Act Regarding General Motors Company
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.) (the “Act”), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. On March 13, 2020, I declared a national emergency recognizing the threat that the novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 poses to our national security. In recognizing the public health risk, I noted that on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the outbreak of COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2) can be characterized as a pandemic. I also noted that while the Federal Government, along with State and local governments, have taken preventive and proactive measures to slow the spread of the virus and to treat those affected, the spread of COVID-19 within our Nation’s communities threatens to strain our Nation’s healthcare system. I further noted that, to ensure that our healthcare system is able to surge capacity and capability to respond to the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that all health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19 are properly distributed to the Nation’s healthcare system and others that need them most at this time. Accordingly, I found that that health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators, meet the criteria specified in section 101(b) of the Act (50 U.S.C. 4511(b)).
Sec. 2. Presidential Direction to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary). The Secretary shall use any and all authority available under the Act to require General Motors Company to accept, perform, and prioritize contracts or orders for the number of ventilators that the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP