LANSING — The Biden administration rolled out a broad executive order aimed at increasing competition in the American economy, including “right to repair” considerations that could affect the nation’s agricultural community.
Announced Friday, the order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies that the White House claims will “promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy.”
Most notably is the farmer’s ability to repair his or her items without manufacturers’ consent.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration said it wanted to limit farm equipment manufacturers from restricting farmers from using independent repair shops or to complete repair on their own.
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall supports the move.
“Farmers increasingly rely on the latest technology as they grow healthy, affordable food,” Duvall said in a statement.
“Business purchases — from robotic milkers to high-tech combines — require a substantial investment, and when those tools break down, farmers need to get back up and running quickly. Limiting who can work on a piece of machinery drives up costs and increases downtime. Ensuring farmers have the ability to perform cost-effective repairs on their own equipment will keep America’s farms running and financially sustainable.”
A timeline for the executive order start isn’t established.
“Our members have had a vigorous debate over the past several years on the ‘right to repair’ issue, and we appreciate the Biden administration making steps in providing some clarity and direction for farmers,” said John Kran, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) national legislative counsel.
“Farm Bureau supports farmer equipment owners and independent repair facilities having access to the same diagnostic tools and repair information made available to the manufacturers’ dealers and authorized repair facilities.”
AFBF and MFB will continue to track the executive orders as they move through the rulemaking process and weigh in when appropriate.
— Michigan Farm Bureau
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