May 05 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson joined state attorneys general from ten other states in writing a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice. The letter called for an investigation into beef packers for potential anticompetitive behaviors, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I spoke with Attorney General Peterson last month about this issue, and I applaud him for taking an important step toward protecting Nebraska’s cattle producers and feeders. It’s concerning to see serious price losses for producers while packers are seeing record profits. I have been pushing hard for investigations, and agree that an inquiry by the DOJ would help gather the needed information to ensure the integrity of the beef supply chain during this pandemic,” said Senator Fischer.
Read the full letter from the state attorneys general here.
In April, Senator Fischer wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for the department to expand its existing investigation of beef pricing margins to include recent market impacts as a result of COVID-19. Following her letter, the USDA announced that it would expand its investigation.
Senator Fischer also wrote 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.