Biden Signs Legislation To Suspend Infant Formula Tariffs Amid Crisis
President Biden has signed into law legislation that is aimed to help alleviate the ongoing infant formula crisis by eliminating tariffs on safe imported baby formula.
The Formula Act was introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. It will temporarily suspend tariffs on imported infant formula until Dec. 31.
“Suspending tariffs on the importation of infant formula and relieving parents of steep price increases is a critical step to ending the infant formula shortage,” says Blumenauer, who also is chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. “This crisis requires a whole of government response. The Biden administration has taken important steps to increase supply, and I applaud the FDA’s actions to import more formula. I am thrilled that Congress has moved to temporarily suspend tariff barriers so families across the country can access affordable formula.”
Prior to being signed into law, the legislation passed the House 421-2 and was unanimously agreed to in the Senate.
“The speed at which this legislation moved through Congress underscores the broad bipartisan commitment to helping families get through this crisis, and I thank everyone involved for getting this over the finish line,” DelBene says.
“The law will immediately remove tariffs on safe imported formula and could save families more than 25% at the cash register,” she adds.
In addition to signing this legislation, Biden on Wednesday announced the 19th Operation Fly Formula Mission, where two flights, facilitated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will transport Danone’s Aptamil Gold Plus Stage 1 infant formula from New Zealand to Chicago on Aug. 8 and 11. These deliveries will include approximately 332,000 pounds of Aptamil Gold Plus Stage 1, the equivalent of 4.3 million 8-ounce bottles. These products will be distributed through top retailers nationwide.
Last month Abbott, which was at the center of the infant formula shortage after its facility in Sturgis, Michigan, was shut down after a recall, announced it will extend rebates it has been offering on competitive formula products until Sept. 30 in states where Abbott holds the contract while Similac is unavailable. Earlier in July, Abbott resumed production at the Sturgis plant and is working to resume full production and distribution of its products.
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