Biden Landscaping a Level Playing Field – ShareCafe

Donald Trump ruled by presidential decree, with very few of his controversial directives approved by Congress – the 2017 tax cuts were a big exception and the first 2020 stimulus package.

Joe Biden’s big stimulus package fought its way through Congress earlier this year but won approval, but he has also used the presidential order to change many of Trump’s stranger and controversial policies.

But no one has tried to change economic activity, performance, corporate governance, increase competition, combat anti-consumer and monopoly practices – no one, that is, until President Biden signed an executive order on Friday that does just that.

The comprehensive executive order aims to encourage more competition in the US economy and calls on federal agencies to tackle anti-competitive practices in sectors from agriculture to drugs and labor.

Biden’s action targets corporate monopolies in a number of industries and includes 72 initiatives to which more than a dozen federal agencies are expected to respond.

The regulation instructs antitrust authorities to focus on labor, healthcare, technology and agriculture as they address a long list of issues that have irritated consumers, farmers and many small businesses.

If fully implemented, the effort could help lower Americans’ internet bills, allow reimbursement of airline baggage fees for delayed baggage, and lower prescription drug prices, among many other steps.

But there is a lot of skepticism that this will happen.

Biden said the order “requires the federal government to fully and aggressively enforce our antitrust laws.”

“No more tolerance for abusive acts by monopolies. No more bad mergers that lead to massive layoffs, higher prices and fewer options for workers and consumers, ”he said at a signing ceremony at the White House.

Biden said many people in the US feel that prices are too high, wages are subdued, or new businesses are being excluded from competition. “Let me be very clear, capitalism without competition is not capitalism, but exploitation,” he said on Friday.

Government plans to open up the U.S. economy include new rules to end excessive internet termination fees, allow hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, and remove non-compete obligations for millions of workers and many professional license requirements.

The by-law will direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carefully review mergers and to challenge previous deals.

It instructs the FTC to enact rules to address competition concerns from big tech companies, Facebook, Apple, Alphabets, Google and Amazon, and to limit “killer acquisitions” in which large Internet platforms acquire potential competitors.

This could be an important area of ​​activity where many Trump supporters among right-wing Republicans share skepticism about big tech.

Biden’s order urges the Department of Agriculture to take action to stop what the White House has termed “abusive practices by some meat processors” in response to farmers and ranchers who sometimes say they face too few buyers for their animals .

The administration of Biden also wants to make it easier for customers to switch banks and to take their transaction data with them and to restore the neutrality rules that oblige companies to treat all Internet services equally.

In addition to digging deeper into the tech industry, Biden also wants a closer look at the high fees charged by shipping shippers, the sale of hearing aids, and why they can’t be sold over the counter (which is reflected in Cochlear, the Australian hearing, could affect) aid companies) and their competitors.

Big corporations reacted quickly when the US Chamber of Commerce issued a statement saying the move “smells like a ‘government knows best’ approach to managing the economy” and promised to “meet demands for government-set prices that are burdensome and legally questionable, vigorously oppose ”. Rulemaking, efforts to treat innovative industries as public utilities, and the politicization of antitrust enforcement. “

Republicans in Congress promised to try to stop the rule change, but will face the same difficulty as Democrats in stopping some of Trump’s excesses.

Experts warn that the president will have to work with Congress in many areas to change federal laws if he is to be more successful than former President Donald Trump, who has also issued competitive executive orders and achieved limited results.

Many of the agencies mentioned in Friday’s executive order – like the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission – are independent, which means the White House can only encourage them, not instruct them to take certain steps.

However, the New York Times reported that these agencies largely embraced the proposals on Friday and promised to take action, especially since most are now run by Democrats.

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