Biden plans to use cold-war era law in attempt to lower US prices

White House announced plans to use an old law from the cold war to address supply chain problems that they claim are causing inflation. This is a major electoral challenge for Joe Biden, as polls consistently show voters do not buy his Bidenomics pitch.

The White House released a statement saying that Biden would use the Defense Production Act in order to improve domestic manufacturing of medicine deemed vital for national security. He will also convene the president’s Supply Chain Resilience Council to announce additional measures related to production and shipping of goods.

In a separate press release, Lael brainard, director at the White House National Economic Council and co-chair of a new supply chain council said: “We are determined to continue working to lower prices for American consumers, and to ensure the resilience and sustainability of our supply chains in the future.”

In early 2021, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Defense Production Act of 50, passed during the Korean War to streamline production, was used to speed up and expand the availability of personal protective equipment and ventilators.


The Supply Chain Council will address a wide range of issues, including improved data sharing among government agencies, renewable energy resources and logistics.

Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, will co-chair the council. The council includes the heads of Cabinet departments, the Administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, the US Director of National Intelligence, the Office of Management and Budget and other agencies.

On paper, the US economy looks to be doing well. The White House acknowledged that the improving economic picture was not shared by consumers and the administration explicitly linked the economy to President Biden by calling it Bidenomics.

Recent Economist/YouGov survey found that only 39% voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and jobs. A separate Reuters/Ipsos survey shows that the economy has been the top issue for Americans over the last two years.

The pace of inflation is slowing, but consumers are still facing an economic burden that they have not felt in many years. Bloomberg reported that prices have increased as much over the last three years as in the prior decade. A family can now spend almost $120 on the same products and services they could buy with $100 in the year before the pandemic.

Bloomberg reports that since January 2020, rent is up about 20%, and auto insurance has risen 33%. Used car prices are also up 35%. The affordability of housing is the worst it has ever been. The interest rates on auto loans and credit cards are also at their highest levels.

Many Democrats believe that it’s time for Biden, in light of this, to re-work his economic message before the election in 2024.

The White House stated in a press release that “robust and efficient supply chains are essential to a healthy economy”.

The statement continued, “When supply chain are smooth, the prices of goods, food and equipment fall, putting money into the pockets American families, workers and farmers as well as entrepreneurs.”

Jesse Rogers, an economist at Moody’s, said that “supply chain stress has decreased measurably in the last year. The Biden administration’s decision is a step in the right directions.”

Rogers said: “While it is unlikely that we will be able to solve some of the complex issues that plague supply chains all at once, measures targeting climate infrastructure, data protection and logistics, as well as pharmaceuticals, will boost resilience and kick-start smart infrastructure and global collaboration.”

The administration also said that it would work with its allies and partners, to develop early warning systems to detect and respond quickly to disruptions of supply chains in critical areas.

These include measures to “improve the weather, water and climate observation capabilities and data sharing” with countries that “need to produce global climate and water information, as well as minimize impacts on infrastructure, health and food security.”