Remarks by CEO Adam S. Boehler on Agreement with U.S. Department of Defense on the Defense Production Act

June 22, 2020

As prepared for delivery

As CEO of the Development Finance Corporation, America’s development bank, I am honored to join Under Secretary Lord today to mark the start of our partnership with DOD. Our two agencies will leverage our unique strengths and expertise to carry out the mandate of the Defense Production Act and strengthen America’s self-reliance and resilience across critical supply chains.

To understand the significance of this partnership, we should reflect on the origins of the Defense Production Act almost exactly seventy years ago today. After fighting two world wars, both of which required unprecedented economic mobilization, the country recognized that America’s strength against any enemy is derived from our people – a workforce that built the greatest economy in the history of the world. They understood that our country’s freedom cannot be separated from the strength of our economy. 

With this in mind, Congress passed the Defense Production Act to provide our country with the requisite tools to harness the power of our economy during times of national crisis.

Today, we are battling a new enemy, an invisible enemy. We’ve watched the COVID-19 virus spread around the world and at home.  

This Administration is mounting an extraordinary response that I’m proud to support. The President’s Executive Order signed last month authorizes DFC to use tools under the Defense Production Act to strengthen the American domestic industrial base and ensure resilience in critical supply chains as we respond and recover from this health crisis.  DFC is well-suited for this mission given our investment experience, global focus, and track record of working with the private sector.  

In partnership with the Department of Defense, I am confident we can help secure a stronger, safer America while at the same time not only continuing but expanding DFC’s development mandate around the world.