The U.S. President signed an executive order last week with 72 points of action focused on addressing competitive issues in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, technology, and drugs. The document tackles issues ranging from the meat-packing industry, to railways and ocean freight logistics, and on to the right to repair farm equipment and consumer electronics.
To dig into the order and what it could mean for not only the American industry, but also Canadian value chains, we go to Jim Wiesemeyer, Washington policy analyst for Pro Farmer.
Wiesemeyer says this executive order is interesting in that fully one-fifth of the 72 points of action fall under the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Of particular note are changes to the Packers & Stockyards Act, where changes will give the act more teeth to allow farmers and ranchers to challenge discriminatory practices by meat packers, without having to prove damages. There’s also a point where Biden asks the USDA to “consider” issuing new rules in regards to food that bears the lable “Product of USA,” which could cause headaches for integrated value chains, such as beef.
In keeping with beef, the announcement also contained a commitment of US$500 million to increase meat processing capacity, and another US$150 million for small and very small processors.
There’s much more in the order, including language regarding how the Federal Trade Commission deals with the “right to repair” movement, however Wiesemeyer says it’s important to note that all of these directives are within an executive order — and not codified into law. It likely means several of the points will be challenged and may not move forward.
Check out the full conversation between Weisemeyer and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, below: