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John Deere Signs Agreement with Farm Bureau for ‘Right to Repair’ Preemption

I covered the Right to Repair in New York becoming law.   Manufacturers are starting to notice.     John Deere, the tractor maker, has signed an agreement with the American Farm Bureau Federation, a nationwide lobbying group representing farmers’ interests.  Quoting Vice:

The agreement will let farmers repair their tractors, which, as Motherboard has reported, has become increasingly hard as Deere has restricted access to parts and embedded software on its farm equipment. The agreement, however, is designed for Deere to pre-empt and potentially avoid government regulation and state-level legislation that would have the force of law behind it. It is pitched in the agreement as “a voluntary private sector commitment to outcomes rather than legislative or regulatory measures.” 

The Farm Bureau—which is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country—agrees to “encourage state Farm Bureau organizations to recognize the commitments made in this MOU and refrain from introducing, promoting, or supporting federal or state ‘Right to Repair’ legislation that imposes obligations beyond the commitments in this MOU.” Deere and the Farm Bureau also both retain the right to pull out of the agreement if any state passes right-to-repair legislation.

Why do we care?

A movement gains effectiveness and influence when the other side begins negotiating for disarmament.    This is “we surrender,” waving the white flag.   That a trade group would move this way shows their precarious position.

Trade Associations are a crucial component of how regulation is created.    Ask yourself… which organizations effectively speak for me within the technology industry?

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