Trump to Order U.S. Meat Plants to Stay Open During Crisis: Report

Trump to Order U.S. Meat Plants to Stay Open During Crisis: Report


President Donald Trump just made a key move to help this nation deal with the current crisis and certain members of the left will not be happy.

Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, he will brand them as critical infrastructure to ensure the food supply stays intact.

Trump will use the Defense Production Act to order certain companies to stay open to secure the food supply while the nation fights this pandemic.

From Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, declaring them critical infrastructure as the nation confronts growing disruptions to the food supply from the coronavirus outbreak, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open during the pandemic, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.

Trump signaled the executive action at the White House on Tuesday, saying he planned to sign an order aimed at Tyson Foods Inc.’s liability, which had become “a road block” for the company. He didn’t elaborate.

The order, though, will not be limited to Tyson, the person said. It will affect many processing plants supplying beef, chicken, eggs and pork.

Trump’s order sets the stage for a showdown between America’s meat giants, who’ve been pressing to reopen plants hit by mass outbreaks, and local officials and labor unions who’ve called for closures and are trying to prevent the virus from spreading. The president himself has long agitated for Americans to return to work and restore a U.S. economy crippled by social distancing measures.

The White House decided to make the move amid estimates that as much as 80% of U.S. meat production capacity could shut down. Meat stocks rose on the news.

Tyson Foods extended gains, jumping as much as 5.6% for the biggest intraday advance in three weeks. Hormel Foods Corp. rose 1%, while JBS SA’s American depositary receipts climbed 4.6%.

On Sunday, Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson said in a blog post that the U.S. food supply chain “is breaking,” with millions of pounds of meat set to “disappear” as plants close.

Illnesses in the meat-processing industry and shifts in demand after restaurants closed have disrupted the supply chain. Dairy farmers are dumping milk that can’t be sold to processors, broiler operations have been breaking eggs to reduce supplies and some fruit and vegetables are rotting in fields amid labor and distribution disruptions.


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