- Biden’s executive order uses Roosevelt-era anti-trust policies to promote competition and even out the American market
- What are the biggest implications for American consumers, workers, and businesses?
For the past few decades, there has been an acceleration in corporate consolidation among companies in over 75% of industries within the United States. Last Friday, however, President Biden signed an executive action, his first step in limiting corporate dominance among big business to promote more competitive markets in the US.
The executive order—which Biden considers a return to the Roosevelts’ antitrust traditions—targets the agriculture, healthcare, shipping, transportation, and technology sectors and includes 72 total actions and recommendations to impact these industries in a positive way for the American economy.
Overall, Biden’s decisive action looks to improve economic benefits for American consumers, workers, and businesses.
Goal: Lower the Cost of Everyday Necessities
The White House’s fact sheet claims that when “fewer large players have controlled more of the market, mark-ups (charges over cost) have tripled.” The executive order seeks to ultimately lower the prices of consumer necessities like prescriptions and hearing aids. The plan will also clarify internet plan costs and end landlord exclusivity agreements, thus giving residents fairer access to better internet options.
Goal: Even the Playing Field of the Labor Market
Biden boasted the job growth the economy has seen since the start of his presidency and echoed his message from the American Rescue Plan to create fairer opportunities for working Americans. The executive order will first eliminate non-compete clauses that make it difficult for employees to change jobs. Second, Biden encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen guidance preventing collaboration between companies to assist in suppressing wages. After these barriers for competition are taken down, Biden hopes workers might feel more empowered with “greater dignity and respect in the workplace… to demand higher wages.”
Goal: Re-Install Antitrust Policies to Help Small Business
The executive order looks to assist smaller businesses by refocusing the efforts of antitrust agencies towards the reduction of corporate dominance and consolidation. Biden hopes a return to Roosevelt-era antitrust policies will facilitate new business formation and increase opportunities for smaller businesses.
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