President Trump has signed a presidential memorandum giving the federal government “any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act” to force General Motors to make ventilators for hospitals struggling with the influx of COVID-19 patients.
Trump revealed that negotiations with GM had been somewhat productive but did not move at the speed he desired, given the unprecedented nature of the crisis. (Washington Times)
Mr. Trump had invoked the Defense Production Act for leverage over U.S. companies some time ago. Yet he hadn’t been forcing industries to make anything, saying they’d come forward on their own.
The president said he ran out of patience with GM, an automaker, as it shifted its efforts toward the coronavirus.
“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,” Mr. Trump said. “GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
Ventilators, which help people breathe, are vital to the coronavirus response since the virus causes respiratory distress.
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