NFU Wants to See Administration Follow Through with Antitrust Enforcement
National Farmers Union is encouraging the Department of Justice to follow through on a recent pledge to provide vigorous antitrust enforcement in the agricultural sector. A DOJ report on the findings stemming from joint workshops held by the Justice Department and USDA in 2010 stated that a healthy agricultural sector requires competition and enforcement of antitrust laws. NFU President Roger Johnson says his group is pleased DOJ has taken some action as a result of the 2010 workshops. He says competition and fair markets have been long-term priorities for NFU. Johnson says the proceedings in 2010 offered hope that the current administration would reverse the decades of under-enforcement of antitrust laws. Given that economic studies have shown the top four beef and pork packers dominate their sectors - Johnson says it's clear oversight is needed to make our markets competitive.
The DOJ competition and agriculture report summarizes the discussion that took place at the five workshops held around the country. It also highlights some of the enforcement actions that have taken place in recent years to address continued consolidation of agriculture. As a result of the workshops - according to the report - the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department has redoubled its efforts to prevent anticompetitive agricultural mergers and conduct. The report goes on to state that the workshops have enhanced the Division's efforts to enforce antitrust laws.
Johnson says more work remains to be done to ensure family farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to succeed in the marketplace. He says he looks forward to the Antitrust Division of DOJ following through on the statements in the report.
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