Montana advocates of 'right to repair' ag equipment welcome federal recognition

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A Helena Valley farmer harvests malt barley crop in this IR file photo. Among the dozens of directives included in a sweeping executive order recently signed by President Joe Biden, language backing the so-called “right to repair” agricultural equipment has local advocates of the movement hoping the federal government will address an issue that the Montana Legislature passed on during the recent session.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Sam Wilson

Among the dozens of directives included in a sweeping executive order recently signed by President Joe Biden, language backing the so-called “right to repair” agricultural equipment has local advocates of the movement hoping the federal government will address an issue that the Montana Legislature passed on during the recent session.

Biden’s order directs the Federal Trade Commission to consider using its rulemaking authority to address “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment.”

Groups on both sides of the issue concede that leaves a

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