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US announces $ 1 billion in aid for small meat producers

With information from EFE

The President of the USA, Joe Biden, announced this week US $ 1,000 million in aid for independent meat producers in his country, with the aim of reducing market control by large producers and curbing the rise in prices.

Biden’s decision was made known amid the growing pressure facing his government in the face of high inflation in the country, which closed in November at a year-on-year rate of 6.8%, the highest in four decades.

“Capitalism without competition is not capitalism, it is exploitation. That’s what we’re seeing now in the meat and poultry industries, ”Biden said at a virtual roundtable with independent producers and farmers.

The president denounced that this meat market in the United States is “distorted by a lack of competition”, since only four large conglomerates control 85% of the beef market, 57% of poultry and 70% of the swine, according to the White House.

Those four giants are Tyson Foods, Cargill, National Beef Packing Company and JBS, the latter two controlled by Brazilian entrepreneurs.

Biden said that the profits of these large companies are increasing, at the same time that “prices in grocery stores are going up”, but the income that farmers receive from the meat they sell through these conglomerates “is going down.”

“Many farmers and ranchers are being forced to cease their operations, and sometimes they are operations that have been active for generations,” stressed the president.

USA: help for meat producers

Among the announced measures are 275 million in aid to independent producers to access “affordable long-term capital”, 100 million for employee training and 100 million more to reduce the costs of inspections in small processing plants.

Large producers, meanwhile, ensure that the rise in prices responds to increased demand from consumers and the rising costs associated with problems in the global supply chain and the shortage of workers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. .

The US Chamber of Commerce criticized Biden’s announcement and regretted that it wants to increase the government’s regulatory power regarding business competition.

“Such government intervention will likely end up constraining supplies even further and causing prices to rise further,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley said in a statement.

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