WASHINGTON (June 22, 2022) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) once again voiced opposition to the Cattle Price Transparency Act of 2022 and the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, which were marked up by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
“The U.S. cattle industry is home to one of the most complex set of markets in the world. Rather than embrace the freedom of that marketing system, Congress is instituting a one-size-fits-all policy that will hurt cattle producers’ livelihoods. Cattle markets are finally returning to normal after pandemic-fueled uncertainty, but these heavy-handed mandates will stifle innovation and limit marketing opportunities,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “Cattlemen and women deserve the freedom to market their cattle in whatever way they want.”
The Cattle Price Transparency Act of 2022 would subject every cattle producer in the country to a business-altering government mandate. The bill would severely restrict the use of Alternative Marketing Arrangements (AMAs), which provide stability to producers and allow them to invest in creating higher-quality and specialty products that command a premium. The bill also fails to consider the unique ways producers raise cattle in different regions of the country. Although the bill was introduced when cattle markets experienced uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, market conditions have improved on their own without heavy-handed government intervention. This legislation would jeopardize that recovery.
The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022 would create a new special investigator position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate “competition matters.” Unfortunately, the legislation is duplicative and only creates additional bureaucracy for investigating anticompetitive behavior. “NCBA supports oversight of the market, but creating a duplicative, bureaucratic new special investigator role is the wrong approach. Congress should be focused on the issues that are hurting producer profitability now—rising food, fuel, and feed prices,” said Lane.
NCBA’s grassroots policy, which is voted on by individual cattle producers, opposes both bills.