Rep. Wild Leads Lawmakers in Urging President Biden to Lower Food Prices

Rep. Wild and colleagues: “Americans are facing sky-high food prices, caused by excessive price gouging by food and grocery giants…We urge you to leverage the full scope of your executive authority on this issue.” 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Susan Wild announced that she is joining her colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden asking him to use his executive authority to lower food prices for America’s working families. As part of this announcement, Rep. Wild has also cosponsored two bills critical in the fight to end price-gouging: the Price Gouging Prevention Act (H.R. 7390) and the Shrinkflation Prevention Act (H.R.7825).  

In the letter, delivered to the President yesterday, the lawmakers lay out the discrepancy between the disproportionately high price of groceries and the record profits that grocery corporations experienced after price-gouging during the COVID-19 crisis.  

“These companies have raked in record profits in recent years, with CEOs bragging on earnings calls about how their price hikes exceed inflation. Between 2020 and 2021, researchers found that corporate profits accounted for more than 50% of food price increases, whereas they accounted for only 11% of increases in the four decades prior,” the lawmakers wrote. 

With grocery prices outpacing inflation, and families now paying 25% more for groceries as compared to years prior to the pandemic, Rep. Wild and her colleagues are calling on the Biden Administration to “use every possible tool to lower food prices.” Specifically, the lawmakers propose the following: 

  • Encourage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prohibit exclusionary contracting by dominant firms in the food industry.
  • Encourage the FTC to issue guidance on potential violations of the Robinson-Patman Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act within the food industry, and investigate and take enforcement action where merited.
  • Work with USDA to increase the number of government contract recipients that are very small businesses.
  • Work with USDA to ensure that technical factors reflect the long-term costs of food sector consolidation.
  • Urge the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FTC to scrutinize, and where appropriate, block mergers and acquisitions in the food and agricultural sectors.
  • Encourage the DOJ to prosecute actors in the agricultural and food sectors for price fixing and other anticompetitive behavior.
  • Direct the CFTC and FTC to form a joint task force to investigate food price manipulation throughout the supply chain.

You can read the full letter here.

Information provided to TVL by:
Natalie Gould