Biden Executive Order Could Help Famers and Ranchers

Jul 9, 2021  | 2 min  | Ep4647

Two companies hold 68 percent of the carbonated soft drink market in the United States.

Four airlines have nearly 65 percent of the domestic market share.

The meat packers, farm implement manufacturers and seed companies are another set of industries where a few companies dominate the marketplace.

Friday afternoon, the Biden Administration took aim at creating competition through executive order with 72 initiatives spread across several agencies.

John Torpy looks at some of those dedicated specifically to agriculture.   

President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order on Friday containing provisions aimed at benefitting farmers and ranchers across the United States.

Among the provisions in the Order were directions for the USDA to consider changes the Packers and Stockyards Act that will allow producers, who contract their animals for processing, the ability to sue over any unfair, discriminatory or deceptive practices. Producers and agricultural trade groups lauded the move, but officials with the North American Meat Institute, a group representing the majority of meat and poultry processors in the U.S., stated the proposed rule would likely encourage “costly, specious lawsuits.”

The Order also instructs the Department of Agriculture review the rules in the voluntary Country of Origin Labeling program and consider tightening the regulations. Currently, meatpackers can use the “Product of USA” label if everything is processed and packaged domestically, but there is no requirement for the animals to be raised domestically.

Biden’s Order further asks the Federal Trade Commission to step into the debate over the “right to repair” issue. The administration wants the FTC to consider limiting how agricultural equipment manufacturers restrict repairs in ways that prevent farmers from choosing who fixes their machinery. The move may help resolve the issue that has generated “right to repair” legislation that is being considered in eight states.

For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy.  Twitter: @TVTorpy

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