By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – A group of 19 Republican governors sent President Joe Biden a letter calling on the administration to increase access to baby formula nationwide.
The letter urges the Biden administration to take various actions to make baby formula less expensive and more available. The letter tells President Biden to cut tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers that block baby formula from entering the country. Additionally, the letter urges the FDA to update its labeling standards for baby formula from outside the country.
The governors want to allow baby formula to be imported from countries with equal or higher food safety standards to those of the United States.
“We agree that importation should be an immediate priority to replenish empty shelves, but until American domestic suppliers are back to full production capacity, your Administration must ensure the rapid importation of foreign formula from trusted trade partners such as the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and others,” the letter says.
The letter also lays out a couple of long-term goals. It calls on the country to improve its domestic supply chain for baby formula and urges independent and transparent reviews/recommendations on how to avoid future problems when baby formula used by the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) gets recalled.
The letter says that the out-of-stock rate for baby formula is at 40% across the country and is as high as 50% in some states.
The Republican governors who signed onto the letter include: Bill Lee of Tennessee, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Larry Hogan of Maryland, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Greg Abbott of Texas, Spencer Cox of Utah, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.