WASHINGTON — President Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order July 9 taking aim at — among other things — the right for consumers to repair products themselves or have it repaired by a third party.
The goal of the order, "Promoting Competition in the American Economy," released July 9 by the White House, is to encourage competition among several industries by limiting "unfair" practices by large companies.
"For decades, corporate consolidation has been accelerating," the White House said. "In over 75% of U.S. industries, a smaller number of large companies now control more of the business than they did 20 years ago. This is true across healthcare, financial services, agriculture and more."
A lack of competition drives up prices for consumers and also drives down wages for workers, the White House claims. The executive order includes vehicle manufacturing, as well as other consumer and trade products such as tractors, cellphone and other consumer electronics.
The order notes, for example, in agriculture, a tractor company blocking a farmer from repairing his own tractor. Elsewhere, the White House notes, technology and other companies — like cellphone makers — imposing restrictions on self and third-party repairs, making repairs more costly and time-consuming, such as by restricting the distribution of parts, diagnostics and repair tools.