The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden should build on executive actions implemented under the Defense Production Act amid the coronavirus pandemic and expand DPA authorities to further support the country's industrial base, Jerry McGinn, executive director of George Mason University's Center for Government Contracting, wrote in a joint commentary with Marsh and McLennan managing director Daniel Kaniewski.
McGinn and Kaniewski said in their article posted Tuesday on Defense One the Biden campaign promised to respond to the ongoing public health crisis by applying the law to its fullest extent.
The Trump administration used DPA Title I to issue contracts worth more than $3.15B since mid-March to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
The departments of Defense and Health and Human Services coordinated to distribute $1B in CARES Act funds Congress approved for the public health and defense programs covered by the law's Title III.
Backed by DPA Title VII, the Federal Emergency Management Agency signed a voluntary agreement in August to increase data sharing and collaboration with industry as part of pandemic response efforts.
“The significant increase in Title III projects, the creation of the loan program, and the new Title VII voluntary agreement are all promising developments, but each will need strong leadership to ensure their success to help nurture the expansion of U.S.-based production of PPE, pharmaceutical and defense capabilities,” McGinn and Kaniewski noted.