Proposed legislation, H.R. 5034, initiated and promoted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and supported by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, seeks to allow wholesalers to pass anti-competitive, discriminatory state laws dealing with wine, beer and spirits. Wine Institute strongly opposes this ill-conceived effort to give wholesalers the ability to create and perpetuate an environment of discrimination and inequality.
The passage of H.R. 5034 would:
- Give wholesalers unfettered monopoly distribution
- Make state alcohol laws immune from federal antitrust laws and “any other act of Congress”
- Establish that state alcohol laws override all federal laws
- Undermine federal authority over pricing, taxation, product formulation, advertising, labeling, and product safety
- Increase prices and limit consumer choice
Some documents on the H.R. 5034 issue:
- Wine, Beer and Spirits Producers & Importers Joint Letter of Opposition to H.R. 5034 – Feb. 14, 2011 (PDF)
- Testimony of Tracy K. Genesen, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, on behalf of Wine Institute – Sept. 29, 2010 (PDF)
- Wine Institute Makes a Strong Case to Reject H.R. 5034 – Sept. 29, 2010 (PDF)
- The Real Facts About H.R. 5034 - Sept. 20, 2010 (PDF)
- Myth vs. Fact on H.R. 5034 - Sept. 20, 2010 (PDF)
- Wine Institute/WineAmerica Letter of Opposition to H.R. 5034 - Sept. 20, 2010 (PDF)
- Wine, Beer and Spirits Joint Letter of Opposition to H.R. 5034 - Sept. 20, 2010 (PDF)
- Washington Attorney General Opposition Letter to H.R. 5034 (PDF)
To send a letter to your Member of Congress opposing H.R. 5034, go to www.freethegrapes.org.
Winery-to-consumer shipments are valued at $1 billion annually and comprise 1% of U.S. wine production, according to a new study by ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines magazine. They are critical to the survival of America’s 6,700 wineries, which are predominantly small, family-owned and struggling to find wholesaler representation. U.S. wineries generate 1.1 million jobs in America and attract 27 million visitors each year to wine regions in all 50 states.