Trump invokes Defense Production Act requiring GM to build ventilators

By Tony Bertuca / March 27, 2020 at 4:31 PM

President Trump is invoking the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to build ventilators to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Trump had previously said he hoped to avoid invoking the Defense Production Act as negotiations with GM were progressing, but today the president said the need for ventilators is too urgent.

"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," he said. "GM was wasting time. Today's action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives."

Earlier today, GM released a statement saying it would partner with Ventec Life Systems to mass produce ventilators and medical masks.

Meanwhile, Congress has passed a bill that would provide $1 billion that could be used via the Defense Production Act to produce medical equipment needed to combat COVID-19.