Agriculture Competition Task Force Would Address Unfairness (Sen. Chuck Grassley)

Last week ended on a down note when the Senate failed to end debate on the farm bill.  But, before debate ended, I filed another amendment to increase competition in the livestock industry.  It’s a version of my Agriculture Competition Enhancement Act.

The amendment creates an Agriculture Competition Task Force to study problems in agriculture competition, establish ways to coordinate federal and state activities to address unfair and deceptive practices and concentration in agriculture, facilitate identification of abusive practices, and make recommendations to Congress.

The amendment will require the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to issue agriculture guidelines, taking into account the special conditions of the agriculture industry.  The amendment also creates a “Working Group on Buyer Power

It will also formalize USDA’s review of agriculture mergers with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, by requiring the Department of Agriculture to provide comments on some agriculture mergers.

Most importantly, it’s an amendment that would help preserve competition for farmers and independent producers in an increasingly consolidated and vertically integrated agricultural industry.  Our producers deserve a level playing field and when the farm bill comes up for debate, I hope the Senate will favorably look at my amendment.