Below is the official press release from the Washington Wine Commission, Washington Wine Institute, and Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. This letter was posted with permission of www.washingtonwine.org
April 26, 2010
The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers
1323 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Washington Wine Industry Opposes H.R. 5034
Dear Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers:
On behalf of the Washington wine industry, we request your opposition to the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010 (H.R. 5034), which would effectively remove the Constitutional balancing tests to define the limits of a State’s authority under the 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This would tip the balance toward discriminatory and non-competitive laws.
Our, now world-class, wine industry contributes more than $4.7 billion to the nation’s economy and employs nearly 19,000 people, most of whom are located in small communities.
For Washington wineries, H.R. 5034 could:
- reverse progress made to allow wine producers to sell wine directly to consumers in other states, and discourage other states from following Washington’s lead in modernizing our wine laws
- cause devastating financial impact to particularly our small wineries who rely on self-distribution and direct shipping to get their product to market
- significantly increase cost and labor associated with complying with separate state regulations regarding winery permitting, wine labeling and advertising all of which are currently managed federally by the Department of Treasury Tax & Trade Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission
- reduce choice for consumers who choose to purchase wine from wineries who may not have distribution in their state
States currently utilize their very broad authority to regulate the sale of wine, beer and spirits. This authority has been upheld by courts and new legislation is not necessary to help states accomplish their legitimate regulatory goals.
Together, the Washington Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Institute and the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers strongly oppose H.R. 5034 and ask that you support your in-state wine industry by rejecting this legislation.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signed by John Bookwalter, Martin Clubb, and Lynne Chamberlain
It’s great to see this official response from the second largest wine producing state in the country. Please continue to voice your opposition to HR5034 by contacting your state representative and joining the STOPHR5034 Facebook page.
REPRESENTING THE WASHINGTON WINE INDUSTRY