05.07.20

Rounds Statement on President Asking DOJ to Investigate Price Fixing in Cattle Market

Rounds recently called on the Department of Justice to investigate anti-competitiveness in the packing industry

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after President Trump revealed that he has asked the Department of Justice to investigate suspicious meat packer pricing activity:

 

“I thank President Trump for continuing to stand up for our farmers and ranchers. Even before COVID-19 hit our country, South Dakota’s cattle producers were seeing significant losses. This has only worsened in recent months. Meanwhile, store prices and boxed beef prices are at record highs. These margins don’t make any sense. The reality is that there is an inverse correlation between the producer’s price and the consumer’s price. We’ve got to figure out why.

 

“I have been calling for a Department of Justice investigation into whether a packer oligopoly exists in the cattle market. The disparity between the price of meat at the grocery store versus what the producer gets for his or her product is very concerning. It’s time we know why this is happening so we can fix it once and for all.”

 

On March 19, Rounds sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking for this investigation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began an investigation into packer pricing activity last year following a fire at a Tyson Foods plant in Kansas that resulted in a steep decline of cattle prices. Rounds has supported USDA’s investigation.

 

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