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The Biden administration coordinated and hosted a Zoom call to discuss the Right to Repair (R2R) on 24 October 2023—a total of 12 participants delivered prepared remarks. Lael Brainard, Director of the National Economic Council, delivered the opening remarks, saying, “You might ask why we care about the right to repair. President Biden knows kitchen table economics matters most for hardworking Americans, and having the basic right to repair electronic devices alone can save a family $400 a year on average. We will hear today how the basic right to get a product repaired can also save farmers thousands of dollars when their tractor breaks down and create opportunities for small independent repair shops to thrive.” The central point of the call was summarized when she stated, “Today, the Administration is calling on other states to follow suit [pass Right to Repair legislation] and for Congress to pass national right to repair laws, as well.” A message that was echoed by almost every speaker to follow.

Though the discussion was quite broad, covering everything from consumer electronics and medical devices to agricultural and mining equipment, seven of the twelve speakers specifically focused on agricultural equipment. Lina Kahn, Chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), stated that the FTC has heard from farmers about repair restrictions that lead to crop spoiling and the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue. She goes on to say that on the other side of the discussion, manufacturers of farm equipment claim repair restrictions are due to safety and security mandates, but they are backed by limited evidence.

Janet McCabe, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stated that the R2R was essential to farmers and the agriculture industry. Going on to say that Right to Repair laws increase competition and that the EPA was committed to being active on this issue, as demonstrated in their recent letter to the National Famers Union (NFU), 4 August 2023. If you are still getting familiar with this letter, the NAEDA Government Affairs team discussed it in a recent webinar discussing legislative affairs, which can be found here; the EPA letter portion of the talk starts at 15:00 minutes and goes to about 19:00 minutes mark.

Of course, no discussion on R2R in 2023 would be complete without mentioning the ag-specific bill passed in Colorado, with the primary sponsors of that legislation also joining the call. Representatives Brianna Titone and Ron Weinberg separately delivered remarks on why they sponsored R2R legislation and believed it was a win for their constituents. They both reiterated the message that every state should seek to pass similar legislation, and Congress should also make this issue a priority. If you are unfamiliar with the Colorado legislation, the NAEDA Government Affairs team also discussed it at length in the previously mentioned webinar; that part of the discussion takes place from 29:40 to 36:18.

Keith Ellison, Attorney General for the state of Minnesota, also delivered remarks. Before this call, Mr. Ellison’s most prominent involvement with the R2R issue was being a signatory to a joint letter from 28 state attorney generals addressed to Congress. In that letter, and again in his delivered remarks, he stated that legislation on this issue would protect consumers and farmers.

The moderator ended the call by saying, “I hope the wide array of voices we heard from here today demonstrates just how broad the coalition for support of the right to repair is and just how much progress we have made across the country since President Biden endorsed the right to repair at the outset of his administration.”

In our assessment, this call is setting the stage for Right to Repair to be a politicized issue in the coming year. Democrats may look at the wins their colleagues garnered in 2023 on this issue and see it as a viable way to gain votes from rural areas, where constituents are historically Republican voters. We believe that 2024 will see renewed energy to push this issue in the form of legislation across the country and in Congress a selections loom in November. Legislation is especially likely to be pushed instates where Democrats have a “trifecta” – hold the governorship and majority in both chambers of the legislature.

NAEDA will continue to keep you apprised of developments on this critical issue and our advocacy efforts in pursuit of public policy outcomes that benefit successful dealers. If you have any questions on this subject, please reach out to our government affairs team: Eric Wareham, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, can be reached at, and Kipp McGuire, Director of Government Affairs, can be reached at

If you would like to watch the call in its entirety, a recording can be found here: White House Convening on Right to Repair (24 October 2023)


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