Business insurance

President signs ordinance to promote competition in the U.S. economy

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order to promote greater competition in the U.S. economy, urging agencies to crack down on anti-competitive practices in industries ranging from agriculture to drugs and work.

If fully implemented, this effort will help lower Americans’ internet costs, enable reimbursement of airline baggage fees for delayed baggage, and lower the price of some prescription drugs, among other measures.

Mr. Biden said the ordinance “commits the federal government to fully and aggressively enforce our antitrust laws.”

“No more tolerance for abusive actions by monopolies. No more bad mergers that lead to massive layoffs, higher prices and fewer options for workers and consumers, ”he said before signing the order.

The White House says the rate of new business start-ups has fallen nearly 50% since the 1970s as large companies make it harder for Americans with good ideas to break into markets.

Mr Biden’s action tackles corporate monopolies across a wide range of industries and includes 72 initiatives he wants more than a dozen federal agencies to act on.

Antitrust agencies will be urged to focus on the labor, healthcare, tech and agriculture sectors as they tackle a long list of issues that have angered consumers and, in the case of consumer prices. drugs, have ruined some.

According to a White House fact sheet that cites research from the American Economic Liberties Project, an influential Washington-based anti-monopoly group, falling wages caused by lack of competition are estimated to be costing the median American household. $ 5,000 per year.

The initiatives will undoubtedly launch a series of battles with the affected industries.

The powerful United States Chamber of Commerce issued a statement saying the decision “looks like a ‘government knows best’ approach to managing the economy” and pledged to “vigorously oppose calls for government-set prices, onerous and legally questionable regulations, efforts to treat innovative industries as public services, and the politicization of antitrust enforcement.

Among the administration’s plans to open up the U.S. economy are new rules to end excessive internet contract termination fees, allow the sale of hearing aids, and end non-compete clauses for millions of workers and many professional licensing requirements.

Mr Biden’s order is pushing the Agriculture Department to act to end what the White House has called “the abusive practices of certain meat processors,” in response to farmers and ranchers who sometimes say they face too few buyers for their animals.

The administration is also seeking to make it easier for customers to switch banks and take their transaction data with them, and to restore net neutrality rules that require businesses to treat all Internet services equally.

The executive order will direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to carefully review mergers and challenge previous agreements that have been made.

Orders FTC to make rules to address competition concerns from Alphabet’s big tech companies, Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon, and limit “murderous acquisitions” when major internet platforms acquire competitors potentials.

Regarding prescription drugs, it aims to lower prices for consumers by allowing the importation of drugs from Canada, where they are cheaper. He is also urging the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a plan to tackle high drug prices and scams.

The decree also establishes a White House Competition Council, headed by the director of the National Economic Council and comprising numerous cabinet secretaries, to monitor progress in finalizing the decree initiatives.

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