WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and vice chair of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, issued the following statement in response to new executive action from the Biden administration to take on corporate price gouging by meat and poultry distributors and lower prices for consumers. According to data released by the White House, “Four large meat-packing companies control 85 percent of the beef market. In poultry, the top four processing firms control 54 percent of the market. And in pork, the top four processing firms control about 70 percent of the market.”
“The most basic mandate of those in government is to do all we can to make life better for the American people, and this executive action represents a real commitment on behalf of the Biden administration to meeting it. During the pandemic, corporations have raked in record profits while continuing to raise prices and squeeze families, consolidating to prevent competition and increasing the burden on small businesses and consumers. The meat processing industry is one of the worst offenders of these monopolistic, unfair practices, and families across America are paying for it.
“This new action is an important example of the power the Executive Branch has to provide material, immediate economic relief for families. While Congress works to pass as much of the Build Back Better agenda as we can, the White House should move quickly to replicate this effort in additional sectors of the economy burdened by a lack of competition and high prices. Bold executive action has the potential to directly benefit the American people by lowering health care costs, cancelling student loans, and acting to address climate change. President Biden has shown he is not afraid to use the power of the pen to fight monopoly power; he should now use this same bold, creative strategy to keep his promises and deliver the agenda that more than 81 million people voted for.”