Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Considerations for Congress [Updated November 20, 2018] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "The Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950 (P.L. 81-774, 50 U.S.C. §§4501 et seq.), as amended, confers upon the President a broad set of authorities to influence domestic industry in the interest of national defense. The authorities can be used across the federal government to shape the domestic industrial base so that, when called upon, it is capable of providing essential materials and goods needed for the national defense. Though initially passed in response to the Korean War, the DPA is historically based on the War Powers Acts of World War II. Gradually, Congress has expanded the term national defense, as defined in the DPA. Based on this definition, the scope of DPA authorities now extends beyond shaping U.S. military preparedness and capabilities, as the authorities may also be used to enhance and support domestic preparedness, response, and recovery from natural hazards, terrorist attacks, and other national emergencies."
CRS Report for Congress, R43767
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/