President Donald Trump had hoped he could negotiate in good faith with manufacturers to make ventilators and other medical equipment needed throughout the country.
However, Trump finally was forced to pull the trigger on activating the powers of the Defense Production Act (DPA) because the negotiation process with GM was taking too long, Fox News reported.
The Defense Production Act
The purpose of the Korean War-era DPA was to allow the federal government to direct private companies to manufacture critical equipment in times of emergency.
When this act is put into play, the government sets the terms of the contract and manufacturers must oblige. To this point, dozens of companies had stepped up to offer their services, so Trump initially did not need to actually exercise the powers of the DPA after activating it over a week ago.
Ventilators, one of the most urgent items needed on the front lines, were supposed to have been made by GM and Ford, among others.
Because they had offered their services, Trump believed he would not need to use the DPA, but after negotiations stalled, Trump reluctantly put the DPA into play and instructed both Ford and GM to get working on the manufacturing of ventilators right now.
According to Fox, Trump stated on Friday: “Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too great to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time.”
Fox News reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has been authorized to direct GM to begin manufacturing the ventilators needed to battle COVID-19.
Stop wasting time
The move has been celebrated throughout the nation, including by Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden.
Biden stated after the fact, “The good news I just heard about 10 minutes ago…is that president has just finally implemented the act and he’s ordered GM to make ventilators. That’s really good news.”
Of course, Biden couldn’t resist a jab at Trump, saying that he had suggested Trump do so “over a month ago.”
However, the earliest known instance of Biden mentioning this was moments after Trump announced the DPA was being activated on March 18, according to Law & Crime. Looks like Uncle Joe missed the memo.