The recently signed Promoting Competition Executive Order is a giant victory for rural communities. The order calls for new and better rules to lower prices, increase wages, and promote innovation. The order establishes the “right to repair” which empowers people to fix their equipment and property without going to an authorized agent. It also improves country of origin labeling for agricultural producers, reduces prescription drug prices, expands internet access, and more.

For years, organizations in the Heartland Fund network have been fighting for changes that will increase opportunity for workers and small businesses. The Heartland Fund-supported Rural Policy Action Summit highlighted many of these solutions as key priorities, and the resulting report provided a key tool for organizations in 2021.

This victory was possible because of the organizations, donors, and funders that are supporting rural organizing across the country. Here’s what others are saying about the Executive Order.

Matt Hildreth, executive director of RuralOrganizing.org, said: “Our extensive polling of rural voters consistently found this has been an important issue for rural voters, impacting small business and family farmers alike." (Read the full statement)

Shawn Phetteplace, state manager of the Wisconsin Main Street Alliance, and Julie Keown-Bomar, executive director of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, said: “For the first time in a long while, our members’ hopes are raised that some anti-capitalistic practices will be addressed. For example, currently only a few sellers control all the sales in many markets, barriers to entry are imposed, and corporate interdependence keeps prices high and competitors out." (Read the full article)

Tom Philpott in Mother Jones writes, “In the food economy, massive firms have exerted downward pressure on workers’ wages, boosting returns to shareholders while causing widespread poverty for farm, fast food, and meatpacking workers. . . . the Promoting Competition in the American Economy edict marks a start — and a break from a half-century of laissez-faire antitrust policy.” (Read the full article)