After years of advocacy, the right to repair the movement in the U.S. could soon achieve a significant breakthrough. According to Bloomberg, President Joe Biden will “in the coming days” instruct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draft new regulations that will enable consumers to repair their own devices in independent stores as well.
Although there are still not many details about the executive order, they will reportedly mention telephone companies as a possible target of regulation. However, farmers are expected to be the primary beneficiary. During White House briefing from Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the order would give them “the right to repair their own equipment as they wish.” That was said on Friday by White House economic adviser Brian Deese the order is broadly designed to drive “greater competition in the economy, in the service of lower prices for American families and higher wages for American workers.”
Over the years, states across the United States have tried to pass the right to repair the law. However, companies like Caterpillar, John Deere and Apple have constantly lobbied against these efforts, claiming they would expose consumers to risk endangering the safety and security of their devices. And to date, no state has enacted a law that makes it easier for consumers to repair products on their own. As Motherboard notes, Biden’s order will mark for the first time that the president has weighed the issue.
The move comes in support of the right to repair buildings moving in other parts of the world. The European Commission said in 2020 that it would introduce legislation that would encourage manufacturers to create such products easier to repair and reuse. In the same year, the European Parliament voted to refer the Commission develop and introduce a mandatory labeling system which assigns a repairability rating to products.
We contacted the Consumer Technology Association, which represents electronics manufacturers, for comment. We also contacted iFixit. We will update this article when they respond.
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