WASHINGTON (June 8, 2021) – Today, Representative Mike Guest (R-MS-3) and Representative Darren Soto (D-FL-9) led a bipartisan group of 52 lawmakers in pushing the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to complete their investigation into the meatpacking sector, and whether or not anticompetitive practices have contributed to a persistent imbalance in the cattle markets.
This letter is the latest result of a recent groundswell of bipartisan, bicameral attention into the need to return market leverage to the side of cattle farmers and ranchers and address the startling price disparity between live cattle and boxed beef.
Last week, NCBA — with the support of 39 state cattle groups — called yet again for a swift conclusion to DOJ's investigation into the packing sector.
"Market volatility leaves our producers with extreme uncertainty, and this lack of stability and profitability is problematic for the entire beef supply chain," said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. "The growing motivation in Congress to hasten the conclusion of the DOJ investigation and take action on the issues plaguing our industry's marketplace is the result of grassroots consensus among cattle producers. Across the country, in sale barns and state affiliate meetings, we're hearing the same frustration from our members — no matter how the pendulum swings, the leverage always seems to be on the side of the packers. We thank Rep. Guest and Rep. Soto for adding their leadership to this critical effort at a time when cattle producers need stability."
Last month, NCBA worked with Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD-AL) to deliver a similar, bicameral letter to DOJ.