ANNOUNCEMENT 05 Oct 2018
The law allows actions that may be discriminatory in support of products that receive this designation.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-secretary-defense-5/. For the law and background on it see https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1650-20490-9216/the_defense_production_act_title_vii__december_2008_.pdf and https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43767.pdf
A memorandum to the secretary of defense on October 5, 2018, President Trump determined, pursuant to section 4533(a)(5) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, that “the development of and the purchase of equipment and materials needed for alane fuel cells are essential to the national defense.” More precisely,
Without Presidential action under section 303 of the Act, United States industry cannot reasonably be expected to provide the capability for the production of alane fuel cells adequately and in a timely manner. Further, purchases, purchase commitments, or other action pursuant to section 303 of the Act are the most cost effective, expedient, and practical alternative method for meeting the need for this critical capability.
The order did not specify precisely what action might be taken in consequence of this determination, undercutting the claims made about the merits of the action described in the last sentence quoted above. The relevant section of the Defense Production Act of 1950 grants the president an array of authorities. It provides that “[t]o create, maintain, protect, expand, or restore domestic industrial base capabilities essential for the national defense, the President may make provision” as follows:
(A) for purchases of or commitments to purchase an industrial resource or a critical technology item, for Government use or resale;
(B) for the encouragement of exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic materials, and other materials;
(C) for the development of production capabilities; and
(D) for the increased use of emerging technologies in security program applications and the rapid transition of emerging technologies —
(i) from Government-sponsored research and development to commercial applications; and
(ii) from commercial research and development to national defense applications.
Depending on the specific actions that are taken in pursuit of this determination, the United States might or might not discriminate against foreign suppliers of this product. For this reason, GTA classifies this presidential determination as amber.