Hoeven Statement After President Invokes DPA, Designating Meat Packing Plants Essential

Senator Continues Working with Administration, Ag Colleagues to Maintain Food Supply Chain for Producers and Consumers

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ensure the continued operation of meat packing plants, consistent with recently issued safety guidelines, as essential infrastructure for the nation. Hoeven has been working with the Administration and his colleagues to maintain the nation’s food supply chain. 

“The President invoked the DPA to help minimize disruptions in the food supply chain,” said Hoeven. “This action underscores the vital service of all those who work to ensure access to our nation’s high-quality food supply. From our farmers and ranchers to food processing plant workers, truck drivers and grocery store clerks, we are grateful for all of their hard work to put food on American tables. By keeping these plants operating safely, we are benefiting both consumers and producers, while also taking important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In our efforts with the Administration and industry, we have prioritized access to personal protective equipment, testing, and social distancing guidelines to maintain a safe work environment while meeting this essential need for our nation.”

Hoeven has been working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Administration officials and farm state senators, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, John Boozman and Thom Tillis, to ensure food processing plants are able to safely operate, which is vital to maintaining the nation’s food supply and ensuring producers are able to market their products. Specifically, Hoeven has outlined the importance of:

  • Providing workers at food processing plants with better access to personal protective gear and testing.
  • Helping workers to maintain social distancing to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Today’s action aligns with Hoeven’s efforts to ensure the integrity of the food supply chain. Earlier this week, at the urging of Hoeven and his colleagues, the Administration issued interim guidance to help combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) while supporting the continued operation of meat and poultry processing facilities.