Biden signs competition order targeting big businesses


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order targeting what on Friday he is It labeled anticompetitive practices in technology, healthcare, and other parts of the economy, declaring that this would reinforce an American ideal, declaring that “true capitalism depends on fair and open competition.”

The sweep order contains 72 actions and recommendations. Biden He said it would lower families’ prices, raise workers’ wages, and encourage innovation and faster economic growth. However, new regulations that agencies can write to translate her The transformation of policy into rules could trigger major legal battles.

The order includes calls to ban or limit non-compete agreements to help increase fees, allow rule changes to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter in pharmacies, and ban excessive early termination fees by internet companies. It also urges the Department of Transportation to enact rules that require airlines to refund fares when baggage is delayed or in-flight services are not provided as advertised.

At the White House signing ceremony, Biden for some at large businesses, he said: “Instead of competing for consumers, they consume their competitors; Instead of competing for workers, they find ways to dominate labor.”

“Let me be clear: non-competitive capitalism is not capitalism. This is exploitation.” he is I said.

The White House said Biden’s order follows the tradition of past presidents who have taken action to slow corporate power. Theodore Roosevelt’s administration dissolved powerful trusts that swept large areas of the economy, including Standard Oil and JP Morgan’s railroads. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration stepped up antitrust sanctions in the 1930s.

However, experts noted: Biden‘s expanding presidential bid is not a necessity for competition.

“It’s really more of a plan or agenda than a traditional executive order,” said Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan who focuses on antitrust. “This is a very broad and ambitious policy agenda for the Biden administration that offers a lot of insight into the direction and priorities of the administration, but there can be many slips between the trophy and lip.”

BidenThe order includes a flurry of consumer-focused initiatives that could potentially lead to new federal regulations, but it also contains a lot of aspirational language that encourages agencies to take action to support worker and consumer protections.

Business and trade groups quickly voiced their opposition, arguing that the order would stifle economic growth as the US economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Some of the actions announced today are solutions to seeking out a problem,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Manufacturers Association. “They threaten to undo our progress by undermining free markets and are based on the false idea that our workers are not positioned for success.”

The order addresses non-compete clauses, an issue that affects approximately 36 million to 60 million Americans, according to the White House, by encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit such deals, ban unnecessary professional licensing restrictions, and strengthen antitrust guidance to prevent employers. intends to receive. from cooperating to suppress wages or reduce benefits by sharing wage and benefits information with each other.

Non-compete agreements often prevent workers in various industries from going to other employers for higher wages. Biden He noted that in some states even fast-food franchises include such provisions for low-wage workers.

“Come on, are there any trade secrets about what’s in the meatballs?” Biden I said.

The order also includes technology giants Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon calling for further scrutiny of mergers, “with particular attention to the acquisition of emerging competitors, mass mergers, data accumulation, competition with ‘free’ products, and impact on user privacy, particularly by dominant internet platforms.”

In her executive order, Biden It also calls on the Federal Maritime Commission to take action against shippers it says are “charging exorbitant fees from American exporters” and the Surface Transportation Board to ask rail track owners to “strengthen their obligation to treat other shipping companies fairly.”

The White House argues that rapid consolidation in the shipping industry and sharp increases in pricing are making it increasingly expensive for US companies to bring goods to market. In 2000, the top 10 shipping companies controlled 12% of the market. According to the Journal of Commerce, they currently control about 82% of it.

The World Maritime Council, an industry trade group, pushed back the statement that “normalized demand, not regulation” is the way to respond to rising costs.

“There is no market concentration ‘problem’ to fix, and punitive measures imposed on carriers based on false economic assumptions will not solve congestion problems,” said John Butler, chairman and CEO of the council.

The Emir also states that in the last two decades, the US has lost 70% of the banks it once owned, and about 10,000 banks have been closed. Colored communities and rural areas were disproportionately affected.

To begin addressing the trend, the order encourages the Department of Justice, as well as the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Currency Supervisor, to update guidelines to allow for further scrutiny of mergers. It also encourages the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to enact rules that allow customers to download their banking data and take it with them when they switch.

The order contains several provisions that could affect the agricultural industry. He urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider issuing new rules that define when meat can use “Product U.S.” labels. It also encourages the FTC to limit the ability of agricultural equipment manufacturers to restrict the use of independent repair shops or repairs on your own, such as where tractor companies prevent farmers from repairing their own tractors.

Democratic lawmakers and union leaders applauded the order.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, said. Biden‘s executive order needs to be supported by congressional action.

“Competition policy needs new energies and approaches so that we can solve America’s monopoly problem,” Klobuchar said. “This means legislation to update our antitrust laws, but it also means redesigning what the federal government can do to encourage competition under our current laws.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 Washington Times, LLC.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *