Sixteen House Republicans have written a letter to Congress voicing opposition against the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act.
The letter follow previous opposition from 171 House members and 30 senators, as well as other state and local organizations. The lawmakers argue that the EATS Act does more to benefit foreign-owned pork industry conglomerates at the expense of American farmers and state-level regulations.
“The EATS Act proposes to undo legitimate statewide elections on animal-housing standards, and the influence of the Chinese government is hard to miss given the profound level of control of pig production in the United States,” reads the letter. “The biggest U.S.-based pork company is wholly owned by the Chinese, controlling 26 percent of the U.S. pork market, and produces one in six breeding sows in the United States.”
Farm bill representatives led the letter including: Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).
“As the components of the farm bill take form, we strongly urge you to resist any attempt to undermine state laws that intersect with agricultural commerce,” the coalition wrote.
Other letters have been sent by senators to the Senate Agriculture Committee leaders as well as another coalition of House members to the House Agricultural Committee leaders opposing the bill, and a letter from 16 state attorneys general to congressional leaders opposing the Act.
The National Governors Association, the National Association of Counties, and the League of Cities have also recently sent letters in opposition of the EATS Act.
The EATS Act was originally introduced to address the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold California’s Proposition 12, regulating the spaces of confined animals. Supporters say that states’ rights are currently at risk. The introduced bill prohibits state laws that impose additional requirements on agricultural producers in other states.
Agricultural groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Pork Producers Council, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, are lobbying for the bill. Another group of state attorneys general also support the legislation.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic