WORC: Presidents PSA proposal not enough
In January, The Trump Administration announced their rulemaking plans to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&SA) when it comes to undue and unreasonable preferences and advantages.The P&SA was enacted in 1921 to ensure open, competitive livestock markets to protect producers’ interests from the meatpackers’ exercise of excessive market power. At the time of its passage it was considered to be the strongest anti-trust law ever enacted. However, in the last few decades the law has not been effectively enforced and has been weakened through a number of court rulings. WORC and other organizations representing independent livestock producers, poultry growers and consumers have been fighting for government action to stop price fixing and restore fair competition.
Trump’s rule does not give Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue the power to stop price fixing and the ability to restore fair competition. This proposed Perdue-Trump rule would make it very unlikely that farmers and ranchers could ever win a complaint against unfair and anticompetitive practices by meatpackers. It’s exactly what we’ve been fighting against! Today we have fewer packers (4) who control more of the market (84%) than we did nearly 100 years ago when the P&SA was enacted.
Strong undue preference rules are vital to the livelihood of ranchers, poultry growers and feeders across our country. Without them, the trend of vertical integration, manipulated markets and unfair contracts will persist, resulting in the destruction of any free market system we have left in the livestock and poultry sectors.
Go here to ask President Trump for a 90 day extension on the comment period: https://ourbase.us/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=65&reset=1
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Rounds, Tester, Grassley Unveil Legislation to Address Anti-Competitive Practices in Meat Processing Industry
Meat Packing Special Investigator Act will create new dedicated office within the Department of Agriculture’s Packers and Stockyards Division