USCA comments on proposed Packers and Stockyards Act regulations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 13, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture on the proposed establishment of a new regulation under the Packers and Stockyards Act, which protects fair trade, financial integrity, and competitive marketing for livestock, meat, and poultry.
USCA does not believe the proposed regulation goes far enough in addressing producer concerns related to maintaining a transparent, fair, and truly competitive marketplace. Specifically, we would like to see USDA act on the following:
• Clarify “competitive harm” language.
• Strike the included “customary practice” phrase.
• Return 2016 language related to “retaliatory action.”
In the letter, USCA President Dr. Brooke Miller states:
“In the summer of 2019, after the fire at the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kan., you noted that, ‘I have spent this summer visiting with cattle ranchers across the country, and I know this is a difficult time for the industry as a whole. USDA is committed to ensuring support is available to ranchers who work hard to feed the United States and the world.’
“We ask you to reflect on this statement, withdraw this proposed rule and convene a livestock industry stakeholder summit to outline a course of action that will modernize the Packers and Stockyards Act in a way that ensures anti-competitive buying practices are being addressed. This proposed rule is well intended, but it does not accurately reflect the needed modernization changes and improvements within P&S.”