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Senators Seek Open Antitrust Investigation into Meatpackers Amid Plant Closures

Two U.S. Senators seek an antitrust investigation into the meatpacking industry. 

Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, asked the Federal Trade Commission to open the antitrust investigation Wednesday. 

They say the industry is currently dominated by just a handful of large, multinational firms that have concentrated meat processing into fewer and fewer facilities, leaving America’s food supply chain vulnerable to disruptions. 

In the bipartisan letter, the Senators note that the closing of three pork plants because of COVID-19 has resulted in the shutdown of 15 percent of America’s pork production “at a time when stable supply chains have become more critical than ever.” 

The Senators say the FTC has the power to “shed light on these growing competition and security problems.” 

Baldwin and Hawley say the FTC should ask probing questions about major meatpacking firms’ conduct, pricing, and contracting, as well as how their commitments to overseas interests impact the U.S. market and national security.



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