Sen. Marshall, Colleagues Lead Effort to Prevent Ag Trade Suppression within the U.S.

Restoring Free Market Benefits for American Consumers

(Washington, D.C., August 5, 2021) – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (KS), Chuck Grassley (IA), Joni Ernst (IA), John Cornyn (TX), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) introduced the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act to prohibit state and local government from interfering with the production or manufacture of agricultural products in other states. This will prevent states like California from radically regulating Kansas, Texas, and Mississippi ranchers or Iowa pork and poultry producers.

“It’s simply unacceptable that the federal government has spent decades breaking down non-tariff trade barriers to promote free trade with other nations while our own states impede free trade within the United States,” said Senator Marshall. “We simply can’t allow radical state laws to dictate the agricultural practices of the rest of the nation especially in a way that will only increase food costs for the food insecure and drive farmers and ranchers out of business.”

“I don’t know why anyone would want to live in a state where it’s almost impossible to buy bacon. But California wants to impose such a rule on its residents,” said Senator Grassley. “Iowa has an abundance of agricultural products to offer and folks from coast to coast should be able to enjoy them. I’m glad to sponsor this bill which will protect Iowa farmers and producers and allow them the freedom to operate their farms as they see fit.”

“We thought we’ve seen it all from the radical left – from defunding the police, to the Green New Deal, to trillions in new spending with skyrocketing inflation – but this takes it to a whole new level: banning bacon? No way, folks. Radicals in liberal states like California shouldn’t be allowed to punish hardworking farmers and producers in Iowa, which is why I’m pushing to strip out this ridiculous law and ensure Iowans can continue selling the nation’s best pork, bacon, and eggs to Americans across the country,” said Senator Ernst.

“States like California shouldn’t be able to tell ranchers in Texas how to do their jobs,” said Senator Cornyn. “This bill would stop other states from driving up Texans’ grocery bills and picking winners and losers at the expense of family farms.” 

“Mississippians don’t like the idea of liberal states like California imposing their radical ideas on us or dictating how our farmers and ranchers do their jobs. I’m sure that’s the case from coast to coast,” said Senator Hyde-Smith. “This pro-ag, pro-jobs legislation would establish a federal standard that fosters greater interstate commerce among states without interference from activist city or state governments.”

Click HERE to read bill text.

Background:

Over 20 states challenged California’s Proposition 12 which would require that meat products raised outside the state still conform to the radical animal rights standards adopted by California under the guise of “public health.” Unfortunately on appeal the Supreme Court denied cert and shortly thereafter the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a separate pork industry lawsuit against Prop. 12. Several other states have adopted or contemplated laws that would impact the agricultural production outside their state.

The Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States provides the federal government with the duty to regulate interstate commerce. Consistent with that duty, the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act prevents states from impeding agricultural trade from other states within the United States. State and local units of government will still be able to regulate farming and ranching within their own state, however, this legislation is clear: impeding trade from fellow states is illegal.

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