The Defense Department and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation today signed a joint memorandum of agreement to spend $100 million of the department's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money to subsidize federal loans to create, maintain, protect, expand and restore domestic industrial-based capabilities to support the national COVID-19 response.
Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and Adam S. Boehler, the DFC's CEO, signed the agreement at a Pentagon news conference today.
On May 14, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order authorizing the corporation to execute loans using the Defense Production Act Title III authorities in support of the COVID-19 response, Lord said. This two-year authorization is in conjunction with Defense Production Act — loan-related waivers from Congress in the CARES Act.
DFC, formerly known as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, brings decades of federal credit experience to advance national objectives and address domestic challenges, such as in response to the current outbreak, Lord said. It also has the unique ability to address this crisis with a global perspective, coordinating their international efforts with the domestic effort, she added.
Boehler said DFC looks forward to partnering with DOD. "After fighting two world wars that 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 world. They understand that our country's freedom cannot be separated from the strength of our economy," he said.
Congress passed the Defense Production Act in 1950 to provide the tools necessary to harness the power of the economy in times of national crisis, he said.
DFC, created in December, modernizes and reforms the government's development finance capabilities; primarily the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Development Credit Authority of the U.S. Agency for International Development.