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Tom Vilsack on Corporations

Democratic IA Governor

 


Problem with corporate concentration at Dairy Export Council

Vilsack became president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. With Vilsack at the helm of this organization, corporate concentration continued apace, as Dairy Farmers of America acquired Dean Foods. Moreover, dairy farmers entered bankruptcy in record numbers as prices plummeted. According to the Open Markets Institute, fewer and fewer corporations dominate the American food system from seed to plate. This not only subjects farmers to predatory pricing, but hurts consumers at the grocery aisle.
Source: Quad City Times on Biden Cabinet , Dec 20, 2020

Urban centers push anti-monopoly measures, not rural places

In a podcast in 2019, he attacked Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for criticizing large agriculture companies, saying, "there are a substantial number of people hired and employed by those businesses here in Iowa. So you're essentially saying to all of those folks, you might be out of a job." He argued the focus on anti-monopoly measures came from "folks in think tanks in urban centers who have had very little experience, if any, with rural places."
Source: Reason magazine on Biden Cabinet , Dec 19, 2020

Sees multinational corporate agribusiness as partners

How you feel about the potential for progress on climate in Vilsack's administration depends on whether you consider multinational agribusiness to be a partner to climate action or its principal obstacle. Vilsack seems to see them as partners, but that hasn't always led to good results. Vilsack has a track record of mounting seemingly sincere challenges to agribusiness-among others, a hopeful investigation into antitrust violations in the livestock industry-that eventually end in capitulation.
Source: Sierra Club press release on Biden Cabinet , Dec 16, 2020

Tried to increase competition, restrict abusive contracts

Biden's nominee for the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, held the same position in the Obama administration. To his credit, using his power under the Packers and Stockyard Act, Vilsack did produce sweeping new rules to restore competition and restrict abusive contracts in the livestock and poultry markets only to have the Obama administration back away from them after the disastrous 2010 election.
Source: DailyKos blog on Biden Cabinet , Dec 9, 2020

For plan to partially privatize slaughterhouse inspections

Back in 2012, the department floated a plan to partially privatize its inspection of the chicken industry's slaughterhouses. Vilsack promoted the move, declaring before a House subcommittee that the plan "will allow the poultry industry to continue to be profitable, and allow us [the USDA] to save some money as well." Indeed, the department boasted the speedup would save $256.6 million in costs--a windfall that would have accrued mainly to four large companies.
Source: Mother Jones magazine on USDA Biden Cabinet , Dec 9, 2020

Other candidates on Corporations: Tom Vilsack on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jul 13, 2021