Gluesenkamp Perez backs new ‘right to repair’ legislation


A group of lawmakers has introduced legislation they say would guarantee consumers a right to repair their own products, which they say could result in a savings of roughly $330 a year per household.

Third Congressional District Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Washougal, has joined Rep. Joe Morelle, D-New York, and Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico, in the introduction of the Fair Repair Act. If passed, the bill would require original equipment manufacturers to make diagnostic and repair information, parts and tools available to third-party repairers and owners “in a timely manner.”

The proposal, the lawmakers said, would help consumers and repair shops avoid delays while reducing waste. According to Gluesenkamp Perez, the proposal could reduce household spending on electronics by 22% and result in roughly $40 billion in savings per year nationwide.

“It’s our American ethos that we know how to fix and be good stewards of our belongings. Yet, in many cases, companies make it a pain, or even impossible, for us to make simple repairs like replacing a phone or laptop battery — or get our devices fixed where we want,” Gluesenkamp Perez said in a statement. “In rural communities like mine, it can take hours to drive to an authorized retailer or Apple Store for a repair. The Fair Repair Act would empower people with the right to fix their own stuff or take it to the shop they want — which will make repairs quicker, easier, and less expensive.”

According to the lawmakers, the legislation could have wide-ranging impacts from everyday electronics to farming equipment. Last year, Gluesenkamp Perez joined three Democratic representatives in introducing the Agricultural Right to Repair Act, which would define the information manufacturers would have to provide in order to make repairs accessible.

“Equipment manufacturers are imposing unfair restrictions on agricultural machinery repair, costing farmers time and money. Each season, farmers face tight harvest and planting windows, not to mention tight margins, and simply cannot afford limited and unreasonably expensive equipment repair costs,” Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, said in a statement. “We are proud to support the Fair Repair Act to expand repair choices for farmers, ranchers and all consumers.”