Baby formula imports into the U.S. will be subject to tariffs again in 2023 as the exemptions implemented during a nationwide shortage are scheduled to expire.
Reuters says the shortage began during supply chain issues brought on by COVID, and those issues began to get worse in February of this year. During that month, the biggest U.S. supplier recalled some products and closed down a manufacturing plant after reporting bacterial infections. Responding to the crisis, American health regulators relaxed import policies, and President Biden invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to rebuild lagging supplies. Congress made the tariff waivers temporary as part of a deal to pass the measure quickly.
Last August, Walmart and Target Corporation, two of the nation’s biggest retailers, said supplies of baby formula were improving. The maker of the biggest brand in the market, Enfamil, says formula shortages will likely persist until the spring of 2023.