While it is fantastic news, Biden’s landmark Presidential Executive order is only the first step to implementing US-wide and global mandates that include the right to repair legislation.
Biden’s landmark Presidental Executive Order is to ‘fix unfair markets’. He instructed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue rules, amongst other things, ‘against anti-competitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs’.
Kyle Wiens, iFixit CEO, is enthusiastic about the President’s move.
Small business is the lifeblood of the American economy. Big Tech has done everything it can to drive small repair businesses out of the market. This is a huge step by the Biden administration to protect local businesses and consumers that are being trampled.
In a fact sheet accompanying the order (and it’s an excellent read to help understand the US issues), Biden calls for 72 initiatives to reduce the trend of corporate consolidation [Tech giants], increase competition, and deliver concrete benefits to America’s consumers, workers, farmers, and small businesses.
If ever there was a vote winner, Biden’s landmark Presidential Executive order is it – some initiatives include:
Make it easier and cheaper to repair items you own by limiting manufacturers from barring self-repairs or third-party repairs of their products.
Make it easier to change jobs and help raise wages by banning or limiting non-compete agreements and unnecessary, cumbersome occupational licensing requirements that impede economic mobility.
Lower prescription drug prices by supporting state and tribal programs that will import safe and cheaper drugs from Canada.
Save Americans with hearing loss thousands of dollars by allowing hearing aids sold over the counter at drug stores.
Save Americans money on their internet bills by banning excessive early termination fees, requiring clear disclosure of plan costs to facilitate comparison shopping, and ending landlord exclusivity arrangements that stick tenants with only a single internet option.
Make it easier for people to get refunds from airlines and compare shop for flights by requiring clear upfront disclosure of add-on fees.
Make it easier and cheaper to switch banks by requiring banks to allow customers to take their financial transaction data with them to a competitor.
Empower family farmers and increase their incomes by strengthening the Department of Agriculture’s tools to stop the abusive practices of some meat processors.
Increase opportunities for small businesses by directing all federal agencies to promote greater competition through their procurement and spending decisions.
Ah, ScoMo – are you listening?
It is a vindication of iFixit’s mission and efforts for years. Fixing your own things is noble, educational, and a lifelong skill.
For more on how Biden’s order and FTC action could impact customers’ rights and manufacturers’ plans, read iFixit’s full blog post. You can read more about GadgetGuy’s right to repair reporting here.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak earlier this week lent his full support to the Right to Repair movement.