Levin Statement on Trump’s Use of Defense Production Act as Punitive Measure against GM

March 27, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, released the following statement after President Trump berated General Motors President and CEO Mary Barra on Twitter and then signed a Defense Production Act order compelling the company to cooperate with the government and produce ventilators:

“I have been calling repeatedly on the president to use the Defense Production Act to address the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Defense Production Act must be used as a tool to work with the private sector—not as a cudgel against individual companies. President Trump must use the Act to coordinate a holistic response to the epidemic and active the full potential of American businesses to resolve the shortages that hamper our health systems’ response to COVID-19. Selective use of the Act is still progress, but it matters little unless the President can use it to build unity and solve problems. Right now, he seems more keen on using it to cause embarrassment for industry leaders against whom he holds grudges.”

Congressman Andy Levin led a letter signed by 57 House members two weeks ago to President Trump calling for the use of the Defense Production Act. On Monday, Rep. Levin introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for the president to use all the authorities of the Act to rapidly increase procurement, manufacturing and distribution of testing supplies, personal protective equipment and therapeutic tools like ventilators.