President Trump is using the Defense Production Act to ensure that Americans have a reliable supply of beef, pork, and poultry during the global Coronavirus pandemic.
Food supply is critical infrastructure, essential to the health and safety of every American citizen. Recent actions in some states have led to the complete closure of large processing facilities, which can quickly affect meat availability in all parts of the country.
The closure of a single plant can eliminate more than 80 percent of the supply of a particular meat—say, ground beef—for an entire grocery store chain. All told, the failure to keep facilities open could force millions of pounds of meat to disappear from the market, potentially causing long-term disruptions to America’s supply chain.
With President Trump’s executive order this week, the Department of Agriculture can ensure U.S. meat and poultry processors continue to operate uninterrupted to the maximum extent possible. To protect worker safety, processors will continue to follow the latest guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
“The United States of America is undergoing the fastest industrial mobilization since World War II,” White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro says. The President’s use of “the Defense Production Act is a key part of that mobilization.”
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WATCH: Help in ‘our darkest hour of need’
President Trump met with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in the Oval Office today, discussing the state’s Coronavirus response and its plans for a great economic comeback.
“I thank you for the enormous help in our darkest hour of need,” Gov. Murphy told the President.
“Ventilators, as you can see, PPE [personal protective equipment], testing sites—now I think we’re going to be in a very good place, thanks to you and your team.”
New Jersey has faced the second-largest number of Coronavirus cases in the country behind New York. President Trump praised Gov. Murphy for doing a “terrific job” handling the crisis in partnership with FEMA and others across the federal government.
“A big part of our ability to reopen as fast as we all want to is to rapidly expand testing and you all literally, in the here and now this week, are helping us in a big way,” Gov. Murphy said.
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President Trump meets with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy | April 30, 2020