This morning the USDA announced that it plans to withdraw the Obama Administrations interim final rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The rule being the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule.
The rule was originally added in the 2008 Farm Bill. Groups like the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and others opposed the bill. The groups believed that language in the bill would bring harm to family farmers and ranchers.
Today the USDA released the following statement:
“USDA and GIPSA remain committed to protecting fair trade practices, financial integrity, and competitive markets for livestock, meat, and poultry. After careful consideration of public comments, we are withdrawing the Interim Final Rule (IFR) regarding the Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act. As many public comments noted, the purpose of the Act is to protect competition, not individual competitors. Additionally, the IFR conflicted with case law, which Congress has declined to overturn through legislation. Withdrawal of the IFR is also consistent with President Trump’s Executive Order to reduce regulations and control regulatory costs.”
“We are taking no action at this time on the other rule proposed on December 20, 2016, regarding Poultry Grower Ranking Systems. We continue to review the comments received and analyze current business practices to determine whether specific regulation is necessary to ensure that these systems are not unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive.”
Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association's Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, today released the following statement in response to USDA’s decision to withdraw its controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule:
“This is a victory for America’s cattle and beef producers – and it’s a victory for America’s consumers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue deserves a great deal of thanks and credit for this smart decision. The proposed rule would have crippled cattle producers’ ability to market their products through the value-added programs that help make American-produced beef the most delicious and nutritious in the world. This is a decision worthy of celebrating this evening with a top-quality steak.”
In a statement, U.S. Cattlemen's Association, a supporter of the GIPSA Rule, argued that that the decision to withdraw “does not make the problem go away and in fact creates a loophole in which anti-competitive buying practices are not being properly addressed.”
The official withdrawal will be posted in the Federal Register October 18th, 2017. The
Northern Ag Network 2017