AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology says the recent passage of the Defense Production Act (DPA), signed into law September 30 by President Obama, could help manufacturers hit hard by the economic downturn, particularly those that continue to have problems accessing credit.
The DPA was created in 1950 during the Korean War to ensure that American industry could be mobilized swiftly and effectively during wartime. It was set to expire September 30. The law grants the president a number of authorities geared toward ensuring that industrial resources can meet national defense needs. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) joined forces in the effort to update the DPA and make it more effective in current times.
Eugene Haffely Jr., COO of Assembly & Test Worldwide and a member of AMT’s board of directors, says a loan and a loan guarantee program in the DPA bill will help shore up struggling companies that are critical to national security. This will promote economic growth and ensure that the United States is not dependent on foreign sources for its defense needs, he says.
Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT, praised the enactment of the law while acknowledging that the loan guarantee program still needs funding. “Let’s hope that Congress and the administration can find the federal dollars necessary to start making DPA loans quickly,” he says. “That will be a real sign that they are serious about getting manufacturing and this country back on the right track.”