Role of Section 708 of the Defense Production Act in the Federal Government's Response to COVID-19: Antitrust Considerations [August 24, 2020] [open pdf - 626KB]
From the Document: "Section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA) authorizes the President to 'consult with representatives of industry, business, financing, agriculture, labor, and other interests in order to provide for the making by such persons, with approval of the President, of voluntary agreements and plans of action to help provide for the national defense.' The DPA defines national defense broadly to include, among other things, preparedness for, responding to, and recovery from national emergencies such as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Section 708 also establishes a special defense that may shield companies cooperating under the DPA from antitrust liability 'with respect to any action taken to develop or carry out any voluntary agreement or plan of action.' [...] This Legal Sidebar examines the scope of Section 708's antitrust defense."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10534
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/