About Executive Order 13603

The National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order (Executive Order 13603) is an order of the United States’ President signed by President Barack Obama on March 16, 2012.[1] The purpose of this executive order is to delegate authority and address national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950.[2] Executive Order 13603 provides the framework and authority for the allocation or appropriation of resources, materials, and services to promote national defense.[3]

The Act also authorizes the President to requisition private property, force industry to expand production and the supply of basic resources, impose wage and price controls, settle labor disputes, control consumer and real estate credit, establish contractual priorities, and allocate raw materials towards national defense.

Contrary to a few initial claims otherwise,[4] the Order appears to update long-existing directives that have been issued as far back as the Truman Administration and makes no claim to allow the federal government to confiscate private property (except by requisition) or declare martial law.[5][6] In particular, this executive order removes the name of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from previous orders, and replaces it with references to branches of the Department of Homeland Security, in order to bring the previous orders up to date with changes in the structure of the Federal Government.[6]

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