(MAY 20, 2022) – On Thursday, Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bipartisan resolution asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate beef companies for potential price fixing.
The resolution invokes a 1914 act that authorizes the president or Congress to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate alleged antitrust violations. The rule has not been used since the 1920s.
This bipartisan joint resolution would direct the FTC to report to Congress within one year on:
- the extent of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef-packing industry, including price fixing, anticompetitive acquisitions, dominance of supply chains, and monopolization;
- the monetary and other harms of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef-packing industry on consumers, ranchers, farmers, plant workers, and small businesses; and
- recommendations for legislation or other remedial actions.
U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Vice President Justin Tupper issued the following statement:
“Senator Rounds continues to be a champion for competition in the U.S. Senate. We have not yet received the results of the Department of Justice’s investigation into the beef industry directed by former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. This is completely unacceptable.
“The bipartisan resolution introduced today directs the Federal Trade Commission to examine the extent of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef-packing industry AND it sets a date for when the report is due.”