Biden’s executive order supporting Right to Repair should boost campaign in Massachusetts

Media Contacts

President calls on FTC to set new rules that could have broad impact



Boston — President Joe Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order Friday to “promote competition in the American economy.” The 72 different initiatives included an order calling on the “FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to issue rules against anti-competitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs of your own devices and equipment.” A fact sheet from the White House singles out cell phones and tractors as specific products subject to the order.  

The federal action builds on Right to Repair reforms introduced in states across the country, including in here in Massachusetts. These proposals would require manufacturers to provide fair access to what we need to fix modern products —  spare parts, service manuals and diagnostic software tools. 

“We have been working on Right to Repair in Massachusetts  because we believe people should be able to fix their stuff — and, apparently, so does the president of the United States,” said Janet Domenitz, Director of MASSPIRG. “More repair choices will protect the environment by cutting down on the amount of new electronics we make and old stuff we toss. When we say the Commonwealth should set a goal of zero waste, right to repair is a key part of getting there. This national progress will boost our work here in the Bay State.”

“Until recently, American farmers fixed their own equipment when it broke, or they took it to their repair shop of choice. But over the last few decades, manufacturers have made it harder and harder to do this, all but forcing farmers to take their broken machinery to a licensed dealership for repairs – which can be inconvenient, restrictive, and expensive,” said Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union. “We greatly appreciate that the Biden administration has taken note of this problem and is taking steps to give farmers the freedom to repair their equipment how and where they please.”

Right to Repair efforts have gained significant momentum in recent years but also face industry opposition. A PIRG study found that companies that contribute to lobbying efforts against Right to Repair are cumulatively worth about $10.7 trillion.  Some of those lobbyists showed up right here on Beacon Hill at the Legislature’s public hearing last session on Rep.Claire Cronin’s and Sen. Michael Brady’s right to repair bill. 

“We’ve gone from zero to 27 states in six years because protecting repair is the right thing to do, and people get it,” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, the Executive Director of, a coalition group which has organizing state campaigns on Right to Repair. “This order adds energy to all our efforts. We plan to keep going until people can fix their stuff.”

“We know from experience on Beacon Hill that the opposition to Right to Repair is fierce. But with every passing day, more and more people realize that it’s best for consumers, farmers and the planet if they can repair their products,” said Domenitz. “It’s time to deliver results for Massachusetts residents and put Right to Repair rules in place.”