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Trump invokes Defense Production Act to stop exporting of medical supplies

POTUS says White House working with Homeland Security Department to ensure all newly produced medical equipment kept in U.S.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing Friday, March 20, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
President Trump, Vice President Pence, coronavirus task force members at White House press briefing, March 20
(Shealah Craighead/White House Photo)
Updated: April 3, 2020 - 6:09pm

President Trump said Friday that he would be invoking the Defense Production Act to halt and prohibit the export of scarce health and medical supplies by "unscrupulous actors and profiteers."

Trump said that acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prevent the export of respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other urgently needed medical supplies.

"We need these items immediately for domestic use," the president said during the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing. 

The Defense Production Act (DPA) has recently been leveraged by the White House to stop the price gouging of medical supplies.

Under the authority of the DPA, the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Justice Department took custody of 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks and 600,000 gloves.

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