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Addressing Consolidation in Agriculture: USDA’s Response to President Biden’s Directive to Promote Competition in the American Economy

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This guide analyzes the changes happening in USDA rulemaking to increase domestic competition in agriculture.  

On July 9, 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14036, entitled “Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” This Order directed federal agencies to review current and prospective rules in order to establish policies that would advance competition within U.S. industry, including agriculture.  

In the past year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has undergone review of its policies and announced ten initiatives that seek to address the call to action laid out by the Executive Order. Developments include new grant programs, enhanced enforcement and labeling policies, and new resources to remove barriers to reporting anticompetition practices.  

While much of USDA’s response addresses the central concerns of the Order, there is still room to improve competition in the U.S. agricultural economy. This report analyzes USDA’s response and upcoming rule changes, the lengths to which it follows the President’s directive, and what the agency could implement in the future to promote competition and prevent discrimination.  

This guide was made possible with support from the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.