What is the Defense Production Act?

President Trump announced on Wednesday afternoon that he will invoke the Defense Production Act in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping across the United States.

The Defense Production Act (DPA) is the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the U.S. industrial base to support the military, energy, space, and homeland security programs.

The DPA was signed into law in 1950 in response to the start of the Korean Conflict and was last renewed in 2018.

Homeland security programs eligible for DPA support include:

  • Efforts to counter-terrorism within the United States;
  • Emergency preparedness activities conducted pursuant to title VI of the Stafford Act;
  • Protection and restoration of critical infrastructure; and
  • Continuity of Government.