Biden to launch task force to crack down on 'unfair and illegal pricing' amid rising inflation

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday will motorboat a caller task unit to return connected “unfair and illegal” corporate pricing, which Biden sees arsenic a awesome logic why consumers are not yet emotion nan effect of cooling inflation rates and a beardown economy.

The task unit will beryllium jointly led by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, 2 agencies astatine nan forefront of nan Biden administration’s fierce regulatory schedule complete nan past 3 years.

“We’re excited to beryllium co-chairing nan president’s caller Strike Force connected Unfair and Illegal Pricing, which builds connected nan FTC’s far-reaching activity to beforehand title and tackle unlawful business practices that are inflating costs for Americans,” FTC Chair Lina Khan told reporters connected a telephone Monday.

Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter will co-chair nan onslaught unit on pinch Khan.

“Here astatine nan Justice Department, we are confronting immoderate of nan world’s astir powerful corporations truthful that we tin amended nan lives of American families, Kanter said connected nan call.

DOJ And Federal Trade Commission Hold Annual Spring Enforcers SummitJonathan Kanter, adjunct lawyer wide of antitrust for nan Department of Justice, successful Washington connected March 27, 2023.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden will convene nan sixth general gathering of nan White House Competition Council, a group of apical charismatic passim nan management who are tasked pinch rooting retired anti-competitive practices crossed a wide scope of industries.

“Over nan past twelvemonth proviso chains person returned to normal and ostentation has travel down,” said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard connected nan call. “Some corporations aren’t passing those savings connected to consumers...President Biden is fed up pinch firm practices that unfairly raise costs for consumers and he’s taking action.”

In beforehand of nan assembly meeting, nan Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will merchandise a last norm to cut credit paper precocious fees. The Agriculture Department will besides merchandise finalized protections for farmers against perchance discriminatory processing practices.

The announcements and nan gathering are portion of Biden’s ongoing crusade against firm pricing practices that he claims are unfair. The White House believes they lend straight to nan nationalist cognition that nan system is doing poorly, contempt information that objectively shows a beardown U.S. economy.

“The title assembly and its members person worked to bring down costs and everything from proceeding immunodeficiency to asthma inhalers to Epi pens to aerial travel, ” said Brainard.

Media Briefing Held By Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre And Top White House AdvisorsWhite House National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard connected Oct. 26, 2023.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images file

Still, questions stay astir precisely what actions regulators person nan ineligible authority to return to reside companies that workout their pricing powerfulness much aggressively than others.

“There are dozens of statutes connected nan book crossed each of these agencies that can, successful definite situations, beryllium brought to carnivore wherever precocious prices are harming consumers,” a elder management charismatic said connected nan Monday call. “And it depends connected really and when.”

Biden has pointed to what he says is “price gouging” and “shrinkflation” arsenic 2 examples of firm pricing strategies that support profits high, moreover erstwhile wholesale and proscription costs drop.

But 2 months into nan predetermination year, nan communicative of a beardown system whitethorn yet beryllium taking clasp pinch voters who person truthful acold not fixed Biden in installments for nan economy’s soft landing. Instead, they person blamed him for nan post-pandemic elevated costs of living.

Four caller polls released complete nan play pointed to signs of increasing economical optimism among respondents.

Nonetheless, nan polls still showed Biden trailing his apt November opponent, twice-impeached erstwhile President Donald Trump, successful a head-to-head hypothetical wide predetermination contest.

Rebecca Picciotto,