Executive Order Addresses Right to Repair and Market Competition

Brian German Agri-Business, Industry

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday addressing market competition and the right to repair. The order is reported to include 72 initiatives impacting 12 federal agencies. A key pillar of the order includes provisions to combat anti-competitive practices across the economy. Guidelines limiting manufacturers from barring self-repairs or third-party repairs are also addressed in the order.

Executive Order

“Competition keeps the economy moving and keeps it growing,” Biden noted in his address prior to the signing of the executive order. “What we’re seen over the past few decades is less competition and more concentration that holds our economy back.”

The executive order impacts a wide array of industries. Each of the provisions is aimed at improving competition and increasing opportunities for small businesses. The order will make it easier and more affordable for producers to repair farming equipment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will also be required to consider updates to the Packers and Stockyards Act and definitions for “Made in the USA” labeling. USDA is also tasked with the development of plans for increasing opportunities for producers to access markets and to receive fair compensation. A fact sheet from the White House provides a breakdown of what the executive order covers.

There have been mixed reviews from the agricultural sector surrounding the executive order. The North American Meat Institute remains skeptical about making adjustments to the Stockyards and Packers Act. Other groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union were encouraged by the announcement.

“AFBF notes 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,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “We will closely examine the details of this executive order as we continue to work with the administration to ensure changes are consistent with our grassroots policy, and farmers and ranchers are provided greater flexibility to remain competitive in our growing economy.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West