Hi, everybody. If you've ever played a game of basketball in a gym, or entered a contest in school, or started a small business in your hometown, you know that competition is a good thing. It pushes us to do our best. And you know that a fight is only fair when everybody has a chance to win, when the playing field is level for everybody, and the rules are clear and consistent.
That's important to our consumers, our workers, our employers, and our farmers. You deserve a fair shake, even though there might be much bigger players in the market. Without a truly competitive marketplace, those big companies can raise costs,or slack off on offering good service, or keep their workers' wages too low.
And in an era when large corporations often merge to form even larger ones, our leaders have an even greater responsibility to look out for us as consumers. To keep America's economy growing and America's businesses thriving, we need to protect the principle of fair competition.
That's not, by the way, a Democratic idea or a Republican idea - it's an American idea, because it's the best way to make sure the best ideas rise to the top. My administration has done a lot to keep the marketplace fair. We defended a free, open, and accessible internet that doesn't let service providers pick winners and losers. We cracked down on conflicts of interest by making sure professionals who give you retirement advice do so in your best interest, not in theirs. And in the last few months, we've made even more progress.
This week, my Department of Agriculture took major steps to protect farmers from unfair treatment by bigger processors. These rules will help swine, beef cattle,and especially poultry growers who have fewer choices in where they sell their products.
This month, the FDA started taking steps to make hearing aids more affordable for more than the nearly 30 million Americans suffering from the frustration of hearing loss.
We think people with moderate hearing loss should be able to buy a hearing aid over the counter as easily as you can buy reading glasses at your local pharmacy.