Hoeven Statement on Department of Justice Advancing Antitrust Inquiry Into Beef Industry

Senator Pressed Administration for Transparency & Improved Pricing, Part of His Efforts to Support Cattle Producers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) formally requested information from meatpacking companies over potential antitrust violations. Hoeven has been pressing the administration, including Attorney General William Barr, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach, to improve transparency and pricing in the cattle markets and stressed the need for strong oversight to prevent anti-competitive behavior.

The DOJ’s action builds on an announcement from Secretary Perdue earlier this year that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Packers and Stockyards Division would extend its oversight into price disparities between box and live beef.

“Our cattle ranchers deserve a fair price for their product, and we appreciate the administration for working with us to address the price disparities impacting producers,” said Hoeven. “We’ve been making the case for the DOJ and USDA to find ways to improve pricing and transparency in the cattle markets and ensure our ranchers are being treated fairly, and this is a good step.”