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US President Donald Trump Signs 2Trillion Dollars Financial Stimulus Package Into Law: Orders General Motors To Produce 40,000 Ventilators

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President Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn), as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill two days after the Senate debated its provisions.

On Wednesday the number of Americans filing for unemployment surged to a record high of 3.3 million people.

The US has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 100,000 positive tests.

No Democratic lawmakers were invited to the historic signing ceremony, which was held at the White House, though the president thanked both parties “for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first”.

Mr Trump said the package was “twice as large” as any prior relief bill.

“This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers and businesses,”.

Just before signing the act into law, Mr Trump invoked the Defence Production Act (DPA), which gives the president the power to force private industries to create items required for national defence.

Mr Trump said the order will compel General Motors (GM) to manufacture much-needed medical ventilators for the federal government.

Mr Trump had previously said the defence order was not necessary, because companies were voluntarily converting their operations to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

But on Friday he said in a statement: “The virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”

Earlier in the day he took to Twitter to complain that GM lowered the number of ventilators they had promised to deliver from 40,000 to 6,000 and had wanted “top dollar”.

He also criticised GM chief executive Mary Barra, saying things are “always a mess” with her at the helm of the Detroit-based auto manufacture.

 

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