President Joe Biden today signed an executive order earlier today aimed at promoting competition and fairness throughout the economy.
The order includes 72 directives that will be carried out by 12 federal agencies, many of which target the agricultural sector. For instance, it advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to offer livestock farmers greater recourse against corporations when they are treated unfairly, restructure the inequitable system that determines poultry growers’ wages, and prevent corporations from retaliating against farmers who speak out about discriminatory conduct. It would also give farmers the right to repair their equipment – which many companies currently restrict – limit “Product of USA” labels strictly to meat raised domestically and support the development of local and regional food systems.
The executive orders 72 initiatives include:
- Save Americans money on their internet bills by banning excessive early termination fees, requiring clear disclosure of plan costs to facilitate comparison shopping, and ending landlord exclusivity arrangements that stick tenants with only a single internet option.
- Make it easier and cheaper to repair items you own by limiting manufacturers from barring self-repairs or third-party repairs of their products.
- Empower family farmers and increase their incomes by strengthening the Department of Agriculture’s tools to stop the abusive practices of some meat processors.
- Increase opportunities for small businesses by directing all federal agencies to promote greater competition through their procurement and spending decisions.
While the sweeping Executive Order covers a wide range of industries, specifically to agriculture, the White House says the Order:
- Directs USDA to consider issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act making it easier for farmers to bring and win claims, stopping chicken processors from exploiting and underpaying chicken farmers, and adopting anti-retaliation protections for farmers who speak out about bad practices.
- Directs USDA to consider issuing new rules defining when meat can bear “Product of USA” labels, so that consumers have accurate, transparent labels that enable them to choose products made here.
- Directs 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.
- Encourages the FTC to limit powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops or do DIY repairs—such as when tractor companies block farmers from repairing their own tractors.
To read the full text of the Fact Sheet released earlier Friday Morning by the White House please click here.