The Biden administration has announced a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule it says will promote inclusive competition and market integrity in the livestock, meat and poultry markets.

At a September 26 meeting of the White House Competition Council, President Joe Biden announced the proposed Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity rules under the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act “to provide for clearer, more effective standards to govern the modern marketplace.”

The proposed rule would revise existing regulations under the P&S Act by prohibiting certain prejudices and disadvantages against covered producers in the livestock, meat and poultry markets and would prohibit retaliatory practices that interfere with lawful communications, assertion of rights and participation in associations, among other protected activities.

“Highly concentrated local markets in livestock and poultry have increasingly left farmers, ranchers, growers and producers vulnerable to a range of practices that unjustly exclude them from economic opportunities and undermine a transparent, competitive and open market—which harms producers’ ability to deliver the quality, affordable food working families depend upon,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “USDA is focused on building new, fairer and more resilient markets, protecting producers, and reducing food costs, and we are proving again today that we will use all tools at our disposal to do so.”

Once the proposed rule is published, stakeholders and other interested parties have 60 days from the date of publication to submit comments.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.