30 U.S. Senators Applauded by Farm Groups for Opposing Marshall-Hinson EATS Act
Bipartisan group of U.S. Senators Submit Letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Leadership opposing the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, S.2019
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, a bipartisan group of 30 U.S. Senators led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sent a bipartisan letter, to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member John Boozman, R-Ark., expressing their opposition to the so-called Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, S. 2019/H.R. 4417, and its inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill. The controversial EATS Act, led by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, would harm small farmers, threaten state laws, and infringe on states’ rights to establish laws and regulations within their own borders. To date, the EATS Act has dismal support in both Chambers with only 31 cosponsors in the U.S. House and 13 cosponsors in the Senate.
Two leading groups, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and Competitive Markets Action (CMA), along with members of various agricultural associations, have been lobbying Members of Congress to join the opposition against the EATS Act. In June, OCM and CMA launched a public campaign against the measure, which they deem an assault on states’ rights and a gift to Chinese pork conglomerates like Smithfield Foods. In July the groups rallied in Washington, D.C., to join in nearly 100 meetings on Capitol Hill and spoke out against the EATS Act at their annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The groups are determined to prevent the measure from marginalizing American family farmers and opening the floodgates to China’s takeover of American agriculture alongside conservative groups like FreedomWorks, and expect more letters against EATS from Members of the House and Senate to be sent in the coming weeks.
“We write today expressing our strong opposition to inclusion of the “Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act” (S. 2019) or any similar legislation in the 2023 Farm Bill,” wrote the members. “The EATS Act would have a sweeping impact if passed—threatening countless state laws and opening the floodgates to unnecessary litigation. The bill is particularly draconian in that it aims to negate state and local laws when there are no federal standards to take their place, creating an overnight regulatory vacuum. In doing so, the EATS Act would drastically broaden the scope of federal preemption, and disregard the wisdom of duly-enacted laws that address local concerns,” they continued.
“We applaud the Senators for speaking up in staunch opposition to the terrible EATS assault on independent family farmers, states’ rights, and the Constitution, and Sen. Feinstein for her tremendous leadership,” said Marty Irby, President at Capitol South, LLC who lobbied for the letter, and Board Secretary at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “The EATS Act is nothing more than a giveaway to Chinese interests like Smithfield and other multinational conglomerates who continue to increase concentration in the marketplace and wipe out American family farmers from the land, and it must be stopped.”
The campaign against the EATS Act centers on the opposition of family poultry, pork, and dairy farms, as well as independent cattle ranchers. The groups are concerned that Chinese interests are not solely focused on land rights; they are aggressively acquiring entire agricultural companies, posing a significant threat to American farming sovereignty. Enacting the EATS Act via the Farm Bill would eliminate hundreds of state agricultural laws, effectively paving the way for even more foreign intrusion without guardrails. This absence of rules, particularly those that support American family farmers and ranchers, would create an environment in which large Chinese corporations like Smithfield Foods and others can easily expand across all 50 states without having to comply with state laws that protect rural communities, American farming families, and consumers. Competitive Markets Action is currently represented by Capitol South, LLC, Vincent Trometter, and Conaway-Graves on the issue.
“We’re elated to see such a strong showing of Senators come out swinging against the EATS Act and are committed to prevent its inclusion in the upcoming farm bill,” said Vinnie Trometter, Director of Government Relations at Competitive Markets Action, and a native of Williamsport located in the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, a seat held by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-State College.
OCM led the charge in the farming and ranching space to defeat a previous iteration of the EATS Act led by former Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from being included in the 2018 Farm Bill led by former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and current Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. In recent weeks, even Marshall declared on RFDTV: “We’re getting the heck beat out of us,” on the terrible EATS Act.
“If EATS is included in the upcoming Farm Bill, it’ll mark the end of American family farming as we know it,” added Deborah Mills, Chairwoman of the National Dairy Producers Organization and a Board Director at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “We must fight this hostile takeover with everything we have – it’s clear from China Weekly’s recent commentary that the Hinson-Marshall EATS Act is China’s baby.”
In June, OCM and CMA launched a campaign against the EATS Act which included ad buys in Politico Morning and Weekly Ag for three full weeks in June and one full week in July, as well as ad buys that included a takeover of The Daily Caller’s homepage five times as well as radio ads in key Congressional Districts, and a billboard truck on Capitol Hill, the last half of July that’ll be returning for the full month of September and beyond. The ads encourage voters to contact their elected officials and ask them to vote no on any Farm Bill that contains the EATS Act. OCM and CMA plan to continue the ad campaign throughout the course of 2023 until the Farm Bill is finalized and enacted.
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The foundation of the Organization for Competitive Markets is to fight for competitive markets in agriculture for farmers, ranchers and rural communities. True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.
Competitive Markets Action (CMA) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that was formed with the mission of shaping policy to promote more regenerative and sustainable agriculture, and competitive markets in the U.S., and to defend against attacks on states’ rights by the federal government. CMA works to raise awareness of the harm caused by multinational conglomerates to the American family farmer, the consumer and our U.S. economy as a whole in an effort to bring about legislative and regulatory reforms.
Capitol South, LLC is Washington, D.C. based a lobbying and public relations firm dedicated to providing proven winning strategies and solutions in the lobbying, advocacy, public relations, and political space.
- Farmer Fly-In
CONTACT: Marty Irby Competitive Markets Action 202-821-5686 [email protected]
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