Biden executive order addresses livestock, right-to-repair issues
On July 9, President Joe Biden issued a wide-ranging executive order intended to promote competition in the American economy, according to a White House press release. Included in the order are several provisions addressing issues in agriculture, including competitiveness of livestock markets and the “right to repair.”
In the order, Biden directs the USDA to develop a plan to increase opportunities for farmers to access markets and receive a fair return, including supporting alternative food distribution systems like farmers markets and developing standards and labels so that consumers can choose to buy products that treat farmers fairly.
“President Biden’s effort to address several pressing issues facing America’s farmers and ranchers comes at a time when many in the farm supply chain are frustrated,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “Growing concern about livestock market fairness is accelerated by the continued rise in grocery store meat prices while ranchers struggle to break even on the cattle they raise and poultry farmers being locked into agreements with very little recourse if they’re underpaid. It’s time to get to the bottom of what’s driving these imbalances. More opportunities for farmers and ranchers to sell their products will ensure they are paid fairly while providing more options for America’s families.”
Biden also encouraged the FTC to limit powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops or conduct DIY repairs—such as when tractor companies block farmers from repairing their own tractors.
“Farmers increasingly rely on the latest technology as they grow healthy, affordable food,” Duvall said. “Business purchases—from robotic milkers to high-tech combines—require a substantial investment, and when those tools break down farmers need to get back up and running quickly. Limiting who can work on a piece of machinery drives up costs and increases down-time. Ensuring farmers have the ability to perform cost-effective repairs on their own equipment will keep America’s farms running and financially sustainable.”
To access the White House fact sheet about the executive order, visit https://gfb.ag/wheocompete070921.