The Trump Administration is withdrawing a pending livestock regulation left over from the Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture: the so-called GIPSA rules that have divided the ag community by making it easier for producers to sue packers over alleged unfair practices.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision not to finalize the interim Farmer Fair Practices Rule written last year by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, drew immediate fire from Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley:
Grassley charges big packers are taking advantage of independent hog producers through predatory practices, and in an unusual tirade against USDA and the Trump Administration, he vowed to protest to USDA:
And if that wasn’t enough;
But, Grassley’s wrath seems unlikely to sway Secretary Sonny Perdue, who commenting from Spain during an European Union trade visit, sided with industry arguments that more regulation is not the answer:
Perdue echoed arguments by the pork and cattle industries that the rule, first mandated by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, but not funded for years, would mean easier-to-bring lawsuits, more packers growing their own livestock and higher consumer prices.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said the rule as written was flawed and could lead to less competition. However, the National Farmers Union and others saw the rule as key to leveling the playing field between packers and independent producers.