Time to Repeal Agricultural Marketing Orders

Department of Agriculture agricultural marketing orders have long since lost any utility they once may have had. In our modern, highly sophisticated economy, they are not needed either to promote research or to carry out other efficient joint functions (such as product promotion) as envisioned by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act. Moreover, to the extent that they are used to restrict output and raise prices of covered agricultural products (as may happen if more orders’ output restrictions are reactivated), they harm consumer welfare and undermine economic efficiency to the detriment of the American economy. Congress should therefore repeal the AMAA and in so doing clarify that the U.S. Department of Agriculture may not engage in similar regulation of the marketing of legal crops under any other legal authority it may possess.

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