A plane from Germany with more than 31 tonnes of baby milk powder cans intended for the American market, affected by a major shortage, landed on Sunday morning in the United States, according to images broadcast on American television channels.
President Joe Biden had earlier announced on Twitter that a plane “loaded with more than 70,000 pounds (more than 31 tons, editor’s note) of infant formula (…) is about to land in Indiana”.
“A flight departed overnight from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, full of milk in baby powder, and will land in Indiana (Sunday) morning”said the economic adviser to the White House, Brian Deese, on the CNN channel.
On board, 132 pallets of Nestlé brand infant formula.
Mr. Biden indicated on Sunday evening that a second delivery was on its way to the United States. “We have secured a second flight to transport Nestlé’s special infant formula to Pennsylvania”tweeted the president.
“The flight and trucking will take place in the next few days, and I will continue to update you”he added.
A first flight that covers 15% of immediate needs
Other milk powder deliveries “will arrive at the beginning of the week” on other flights.
The first shipment will cover about 15% of immediate needs, presidential economic adviser Brian Deese told CNN.
The United States has been experiencing a shortage of baby milk for several months, caused by supply and labor problems linked to Covid-19, then aggravated by the closure, in February, of a factory of the manufacturer Abbott in Michigan, after a product recall suspected of causing the deaths of two infants.
“We had a manufacturer who broke the rules and made formula that risked making babies sick”lamented Brian Deese.
A market controlled by only three companies
Abbott CEO Robert Ford apologized in the columns of the Washington Post on Saturday for the shortage that affects thousands of American families, for whom finding milk for their baby has become a real obstacle course.
But beyond that, wonders Joe Biden’s main economic adviser, “How did we arrive at a market 90% controlled by three companies?”
He stressed the need to reflect on how to “bring more competition into the economy” American, of“to have more baby milk suppliers so that no one company has such control over the production lines. And we’re going to have to work on that.”
Moreover, when asked about the probability that the United States will experience a recession in the coming months, Brian Deese contented himself with pointing out that“there are always risks”but wanted to be reassuring about the solidity of the American economy.
“There is no doubt, the difficulties are great”, he acknowledged, citing in particular inflation, which slowed down a little in April, to 8.3%, after reaching 8.5% in March, its highest level for 40 years.