WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday meant to stave off a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on American supermarket shelves because of the coronavirus.
The order will use the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as critical infrastructure to keep production plants open.
The order comes after industry leaders warned that consumers could see meat shortages in a matter of days after workers at major facilities tested positive for the virus. A senior White House official said the administration was working to prevent a situation in which a majority of processing plants shut down for a period of time, which could lead to an 80% drop in the availability of meat in supermarkets. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before its release.
Trump on Tuesday told reporters that “there’s plenty of supply,” but that supply chains had hit what he called a “road block. It’s sort of a legal roadblock more than anything else,” he said.