Competitive Meat Market Bill Introduced in the House and Senate

by Colter Brown

Legislation to create tax incentives supporting small and mid-sized meat processing plants was introduced by Republicans in the House and Senate. The Hagstrom Report says the goal of the bill is to help cattle producers compete for better prices.

U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (KS), and Mike Rounds (SD), as well as Representatives Jason Smith (MO) and Dusty Johnson (SD), introduced the FEED AMERICA BY INCENTIVIZING RURAL (FAIR) MEAT PACKING ACT to ensure a level playing field for our nation’s cattlemen and to return to fair prices for both cattlemen and consumers. The FAIR Meat Packing Act creates two tax incentives to facilitate the formation of small- and mid-sized meat processing facilities allowing cattle producers to compete for better prices in the marketplace.

“The success of the Kansas economy relies heavily on the cattle industry at every step from pasture to plate,” said Senator Marshall. “We must ensure robust competition at the packing level by providing butcher shops and medium sized packers more opportunity for success. With USDA providing substantial funding to expand small and medium sized packing capacity, it’s simply logical to help reduce the construction and operational costs so the formation and expansion of small and medium sized meat processing facilities is feasible for more folks in the industry.”

“Our cattle producers are some of the hardest working men and women in the country,” said Representative Smith. “They deserve access to fair markets. Unfortunately, if the mega meat packers continue their strangle-hold on the market, our hardworking producers don’t stand a chance. This legislation creates choice and competition in the meatpacking industry so that our hardworking cattle producers don’t have to be reliant on the big packers, helping them get better value for their cattle. Ultimately, better meatpacking options will also bring down prices for consumers at the meat counter.”

“In our hearing this week, we heard from witness testimony that said there is opportunity for new capacity but Congress needs to provide a variety of tools to ensure long-term viability. I’m proud to join Rep. Smith in introducing the Feed America by Incentivizing Rural (FAIR) Meat Packing Act to provide modest tax incentives to small processors looking to compete with the big four. There’s no silver bullet but a number of reforms continue to move us in the right direction – the FAIR Meat Packing Act is one of those reforms,” said Representative Dusty Johnson.

Click HERE to read bill text.



NAFB/Sen. Roger Marshall

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