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Following Rounds Request, Administration Declares Meat Processing Plants as Critical Infrastructure by Invoking the Defense Production Act

PIERRE—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to declare meat processing plants as critical infrastructure. Under the Executive Order issued tonight, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is directed to make certain America’s meat and poultry processors continue operations uninterrupted to the maximum extent possible.

“Yesterday, I wrote to President Trump to underscore the need to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep food processing plants open safely,” said Rounds. “I’m pleased the president took this necessary action to make certain our food supply chain can continue to provide food to American families during this time of crisis. I’ll continue to work with the administration and stakeholders to protect the health of our food processing workers, and get idle plants up and running as quickly as possible.”

Yesterday, Rounds sent a letter to President Trump urging him to take this action. Earlier this week, Rounds sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence calling for the administration to develop a plan that simultaneously protects food workers and public health, as well as addresses the nation’s on-farm and on-ranch livestock emergency. He continues to work with producers, stakeholders and the administration to develop a plan to help producers address the food production crisis.