(Bloomberg) -- White House officials are working to provide government transportation and logistics support to baby formula manufacturers as President Joe Biden seeks to address a shortage that has left shelves empty across the nation.
The administration has also contacted suppliers who provide raw materials to formula manufacturers to encourage them to prioritize their production and delivery, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to detail the efforts.
The effort by the White House came after Biden spoke Thursday with major formula manufacturers and retailers and pledged federal assistance to address the crisis. Earlier Monday, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told CNN that he expected to announce “by the end of the day” new steps to help ease the imports of baby formula.
Since Biden’s calls on Thursday, the White House has held conversations with Abbott, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Gerber Products Co. and Perrigo Co PLC to identify transportation, logistical, and supplier hurdles to increasing production, according to the official. The administration has also spoken to retailers including Target Corp, Amazon.com, and Walmart Inc to identify regions where supply may be critically low.
The administration announced Thursday that it’s asking more states to relax rules on sizes and types of formulas eligible for government benefits, allowing parents to use subsidies for whatever products are in stock.
The White House also called on the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down on price gouging.
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