Rounds commends forthcoming DOJ investigation into meat packer pricing

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) recently applauded President Donald Trump, who said at the White House on May 6 that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate meat packer pricing activity.

“I thank President Trump for continuing to stand up for our farmers and ranchers,” Sen. Rounds said, adding that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, cattle producers in his home state of South Dakota were experiencing significant losses.

“This has only worsened in recent months. Meanwhile, store prices and boxed beef prices are at record highs. These margins don’t make any sense,” said Sen. Rounds. “The reality is that there is an inverse correlation between the producer’s price and the consumer’s price. We’ve got to figure out why.”

The senator said he long has called for a DOJ investigation into whether a packer oligopoly exists in the cattle market.

In fact, most recently, Sen. Rounds sent a March 19 letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim requesting an investigation into cattle market price-fixing and to examine the current structure of the nation’s beef meatpacking industry and its compliance with U.S. antitrust laws.

“The disparity between the price of meat at the grocery store versus what the producer gets for his or her product is very concerning,” Sen. Rounds said. “It’s time we know why this is happening so we can fix it once and for all.”