US President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to increase baby formula manufacturing to ease a shortage in that country caused by the closure of a key plant in Michigan.
Mr. Biden is requiring suppliers to direct ingredients to baby formula manufacturers before any other companies who may have placed orders for those same goods.
The Defense Production Act gives the president broad authority to require companies to prioritize the manufacture and allocation of goods in response to a crisis.
Mr. Biden has also directed the Health and Human Services Department and Department of Agriculture to use aircraft from the Defense Department to pick up infant formula from overseas that meets US health and safety standards.
Parents across the nation have struggled to find formula for their infants since Abbott Nutrition shuttered its plant in Sturgis, Michigan due to bacterial contamination.
Abbott issued a recall in February of powdered formula brands made at the plant after four infants who consumed products made there fell ill with bacterial infections.
Two of the children died.