WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led a bipartisan group of 18 of her Senate colleagues in writing a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that the department investigate potential anticompetitive activities in the highly concentrated beef packing sector.
“Recent pricing discrepancies between fed cattle and boxed beef are pushing cattle producers and feeders to the brink…Cattlemen across America seriously question the ability for their children to take over what are frequently multi-generational family-owned operations that serve as the engines for their communities and our country’s food supply,” the letter reads. “It is critical for the DOJ to act expediently to investigate these concerning circumstances.”
Full text of the letter is available here. Along with Senator Fischer, it was signed by Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Kevin Cramer, (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), and John Thune (R-S.D.).
Senator Fischer’s letter follows one written last week by 11 state attorneys general calling for the Department of Justice to investigate potential anticompetitive activity in the cattle industry.
Senator Fischer has also written to Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee leadership calling for a public hearing to examine competition and claims of possible market manipulation. Consequently, Chairman Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) wrote their own letter to the DoJ calling for investigations into potential anticompetitive activity.