US President Donald Trump has invoked a wartime executive power giving him the authority to mobilize US industry, saying that without presidential direction, US industry “cannot reasonably be expected” to provide the materials necessary for hypersonic weapons development “adequately and in a timely manner.”

On Wednesday, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act of 1950, using the measure to direct civilian industry’s production of hypersonic weapons components.

“I hereby determine, pursuant to section 303(a)(5) of the Act, that the industrial base production capability for ultra-high and high temperature composites for hypersonic, strategic missile, and space launch systems is essential to the national defense,” Trump said in the directive.

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