Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is finalizing his Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans (FORMULA) Act to combat domestic baby formula shortages and bolster the supply chain to help American families feed their babies. In recent days, challenges in the baby formula supply chains have seen the out-of-stock rate for formula to triple from numbers seen six months ago. Recent shortages come in the immediate aftermath of a recall and temporary closure of a major American formula factory, but highlight systemic weaknesses in this vital supply chain. Due to the disruption, families in Utah and across the nation are struggling to feed their babies.
The FORMULA Act targets supply chain disruption by temporarily waiving current protectionist trade barriers like tariffs and quotas on importation that reduce the supply and increase the price of available foreign-made formula. The bill would also waive regulations that prevent the importation of safe baby formula from abroad. This would allow American families to access safe and plentiful formula manufactured in Europe and elsewhere during the current shortage. The bill will also allow Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program recipients to use vouchers to purchase formula from any producer rather than be limited to the brand or product listed on specific vouchers—which may be unavailable.
Of the bill, Sen. Lee said, “American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way. Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage. Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry.”