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President Joe Biden’s competition and antitrust executive order will harm American consumers and businesses while setting the groundwork for a “government-planned economy”, key business groups said Friday.

Groups that include the Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council, Chamber of Commerce, the Job Creators Network (JCN) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) slammed Biden’s executive order, arguing that Biden’s overregulation will harm small businesses, lessen competition, and hurt the economy. 

The Chamber is a strong advocate for market-based competition, not a government-planned economy.

“Today’s Executive Order is built on the flawed belief that our economy is over concentrated, stagnant and fails to generate private investment needed to spur innovation,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said in a statement.

“The Chamber is a strong advocate for market-based competition, not a government-planned economy,” he added. “This Executive Order smacks of a ‘government knows best’ approach to managing the economy.”

Bradley said the order politicizes antitrust enforcement and includes legally questionable rulemaking. A statement by JCN, a national small business advocacy group, said that many of the initiatives will meddle in the free market leading to further price increases across much of the economy.

“This executive order amounts to a bizarre declaration against American businesses, from the largest to the smallest,” SBE Chief Economist Raymond Keating said in a statement. “It’s hard to understand why a White House would go down such a path, especially as the economy is digging out from the COVID-19 disaster.”

SBE President Karen Kerrigan joined Keating saying the order would inflict unnecessary burdens on small business.

On Friday, Biden signed an executive order packed with 72 initiatives ordering a multitude of federal bureacracies to increase regulations on businesses. The action restricts businesses ability to protect intellectual property by banning anti-compete agreements, enables the the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to reverse mergers that have already completed, and attempts to resurrect the Obama-era “net neutrality” regulations that have already been shown to be without benefit.

“The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition,” Biden said in remarks delivered before he signed the order.

“But what we’ve seen over the past few decades is less competition and more concentration that holds our economy back,” he continued. “We’ve seen it in Big Agricultural, in Big Tech, in Big Pharma, the list goes on.”

But, the executive order is receiving a wave of criticism for its government overreach and anti-business policies.

Some of the actions announced today are solutions in search of a problem…

“President Biden’s executive order is a grab-bag of political priorities that will have mixed results,” JCN President Alfredo Ortiz said. 

NAM, which represents American manufacturers, said the order includes solutions to problems that don’t exist.

“Some of the actions announced today are solutions in search of a problem; they threaten to undo our progress by undermining free markets and are premised on the false notion that our workers are not positioned for success,” NAM President Jay Timmons said in a statement.

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