Biden to meet with farmers as he seeks to cut meat prices

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President Joe Biden to meet virtually independent farmers and ranchers

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The White House event takes place on Monday afternoon as higher-than-expected inflation thwarted Biden’s agenda. Consumer prices in November rose 6.8% compared to the previous 12 months – a 39-year high. Inflation has hurt public acceptance of Biden, has become fodder for Republican attacks and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.VA, for citing high prices for bypassing the Democratic president’s tax, social and economic programs. has prompted.

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Biden is building on a July executive order that directed the Agriculture Department to look more aggressively at potential violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, which was designed to ensure fair competition and protect consumers. Meat prices have increased by 16% from a year ago, while beef prices have increased by 20.9%.

The administration is targeting meat processing plants, which could shape the prices paid to farmers and the prices they are charged from consumers. The White House released a fact sheet saying that the top four companies control 85 percent of the beef market. In poultry, the largest four processing firms control 54% of the market. And for pork, the figure is 70% for the four largest firms.

Biden plans to push for a plan to distribute $1 billion from the coronavirus relief package to help expand independent meat processors. He also plans to highlight funding to train workers and improve conditions in the industry, as well as issuing new rules for meatpackers and labeling requirements to be designated “Product of the USA.”

The Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture will launch a joint effort to make it easier to report anti-competitive actions to the government. The administration will also try to improve the transparency of the animal market.

The effort is part of a broader effort to gain control of America’s economic narrative. Apart from inflation, repeated waves of the coronavirus outbreak have dampened public opinion about the economy despite strong growth over the past year.

Biden will have an opportunity to highlight the strength of the economy with the December Jobs report released on Friday. Economists polled by FactSet expect the United States to add 362,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.1%. Gains of that magnitude indicate that the US added nearly 6.5 million jobs last year, more than in any other previous year, in reflection of population growth and government spending.

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