Grassley, Ernst asks Justice, FTC to investigate price gouging after derecho
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, have asked the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging by companies supplying equipment and materials to Iowans to make repairs after the recent storm known as the derecho.
“In our meetings with Iowans, we have heard concerns about possible price gouging of necessary goods and services, as well as scams targeting victims of the derecho,” Grassley and Ernst wrote. “Iowans, in particular farmers, have told us that they face prohibitive costs in acquiring the materials and equipment to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The costs for farmers to remove, repair, or replace grain bins alone will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. We will not let scammers and price gougers use this tragedy to raise prices to sky-high levels and thwart Iowans from repairing and rebuilding their homes, businesses and communities. It is imperative that your departments investigate allegations of wrongdoing, fraud and price gouging related to the Iowa derecho, and aggressively go after the individuals who engage in these illegal activities.”
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The Agriculture Department has established a new data report, the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement Seasonal Perishable Products Weekly Update, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced on Jan. 11.