On April 3, 2020, President Trump issued an order via Presidential Memorandum (“Order“) invoking an obscure authority under Section 101 of the Defense Production Act, 50 U.S.C. § 4501 et seq. (“DPA“), to potentially restrict exports from the United States of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) needed in the response to the COVID-19 crisis.  This is in the wake of numerous countries around the world implementing export bans on PPE and other medical supplies (see our previous blog posts on these non-US developments here).  The White House also issued a statement (“WH Statement“) in connection with the Order that explains that it is intended to “prevent hoarding, price gouging, and profiteering by preventing the harmful export” of critically needed materials.  The Order follows several days in which the Administration ordered specific US companies to accept and prioritize orders for ventilators and respirators and reportedly pressured at least one company not to export those materials.  Read more on our Sanctions & Export Control Update blog.