Biden Backs Right to Repair Movement
Jan. 31, 2022—President Biden has become the first sitting president to give extensive comments supporting the Right to Repair movement, Vice reported.
Biden spoke at a cabinet meeting last Monday and acknowledged the anticompetitive practices that electronics manufacturers and others such as the auto industry have created over the last decade.
“Too many areas, if you own a product, from a smartphone to a tractor, you don’t have the freedom to choose how or where to repair that item you purchased,” Biden said. “It’s broke. Well, what do I do about it if it’s broke, you had to go to the dealer and you had to pay the dealer’s cost, the dealer’s price. If you tried to fix it yourself, some manufacturers actually would void the warranty.”
Biden’s speech comes on the heels of an executive order he signed in 2021 that paved the way for right-to-repair legislation in the U.S. The FTC then formally adopted a pro right-to-repair stance and began to study new enforcement mechanisms. Concerning the auto industry specifically, Massachusetts voters passed legislation in 2020 that would’ve given independent repairers access to more telematic data.
Since that vote, the legislation has been religiously litigated and remains in litigation without it taking effect.