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Biden Forms Strike Force Against Price-Hikes, Caps Credit Card Late Fees

 |  March 6, 2024

President Biden has announced the formation of a strike force aimed at tackling unfair pricing by corporations. This initiative, unveiled alongside a finalized rule capping credit card late fees, marks a significant step in the Biden administration’s economic agenda ahead of his State of the Union address.

The newly established Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing, to be jointly led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, underscores Biden’s commitment to addressing economic challenges facing American consumers. The President’s decision comes amidst escalating criticism, particularly from Republicans, regarding the administration’s handling of inflationary pressures exacerbated by disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported The Washington Team.

During a meeting of his Competition Council at the White House, President Biden emphasized the importance of enforcing laws against fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive pricing practices employed by corporations. “If you keep prices high while engaging in illegal practices, we will enforce the law,” stated Biden, highlighting the need for accountability in corporate behavior.

With supply chains gradually stabilizing, Biden pointed out that some companies have failed to pass on cost savings to consumers, contributing to persistently high prices across various sectors. “It’s time for those prices to come back down,” asserted the President, signaling his administration’s intent to address price gouging and anti-competitive behavior.

Related: Biden Calls On FTC To Probe Gas Price Hikes

In a parallel move aimed at relieving financial burdens on American households, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule capping credit card late fees. The rule sets the maximum late fee at $8, significantly lower than the previous cap of $32. This decision is expected to provide substantial relief to credit card holders, potentially saving them $10 billion annually.

According to the CFPB, the revised rule will benefit approximately 45 million individuals who are subjected to late fees, with each person estimated to save around $220 annually. The rule aims to rectify the ballooning late fees, which have exceeded the inflation-adjusted caps established during the 2009-2010 period.

While the Biden administration’s actions have been applauded by consumer advocacy groups, they are likely to face pushback from corporate interests and political opponents who argue that excessive government intervention could hamper economic growth. Nevertheless, President Biden’s proactive measures reflect his administration’s commitment to addressing economic challenges and protecting the financial interests of American households.

Source: Washington Times