CNN reports the President is invoking the act — which allows the government more control over industrial production during emergencies — to direct suppliers of formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to the manufacturers of formula.
Biden also announced the creation of Operation Fly Formula, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to utilize the Defense Department‘s commercial planes to import formula from abroad.
The Defense Department will use contracts with commercial cargo airlines, according to the White House, to transport foreign baby formula products that have met US Food and Drug Administration standards to the US.
Wednesday’s announcement follows other steps the administration has taken over the last week to address concerns about a months-long formula shortage, which has worsened as a result of supply chain issues and the extended closure of a major formula plant in Michigan.
The FDA has reached an agreement with Abbott Nutrition to reopen that plant. The agreement lays out steps the manufacturer must take to restart production at its manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
Once Abbott has completed the to-do list to the FDA’s satisfaction, the company says it would take two weeks to resume production of baby formula at the facility.
A White House official also told CNN earlier Wednesday that the Biden administration is working directly with infant formula manufacturer Reckitt and retailers, including Target, to provide logistical support as it works to help alleviate a nationwide formula shortage.
The administration also established a website, HHS.gov/formula, to provide resources to families in need.