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Right To Repair Advances, Biden Prepares To Sign Exec Order

 |  July 7, 2021

US president Joe Biden is set to sign a new executive order that aims to stop manufacturers from preventing people from repairing kit themselves or through independent repair shops.

Whitehouse press secretary Jen Psaki flagged the executive order and its right-to-repair component at a press conference on Tuesday, July 6.

“As part of the President’s forthcoming executive order on competition… the US Department of Agriculture announced it will engage in a series of rulemakings to increase competition in agricultural industries to boost farmers’ and ranchers’ earnings, fight back against abuses of power by giant agribusiness corporations, and give farmers the right to repair their own equipment how they like,” she said.

The right-to-repair order, which is directed primarily at farmers and farm equipment, could also have broader implications for all consumer electronics.

That’s because, as Bloomberg reports, the right-to-repair order will mention smartphone makers and defense contractors as manufacturers for potential regulation. It would lean on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the order. 

The FTC in May released a report to Congress highlighting repair restrictions, including using glues to make parts difficult to replace, limiting spare parts, and withholding diagnostic software for repairs. The report found that there was “scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.”

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