In a letter today to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, all of the major alcohol supplier trade associations strongly denounced the wholesaler-crafted HR 5034 – the so-called CARE Act. The letter called the bill discriminatory and anti-competitive, saying “H.R. 5034 would allow states to pass laws that violate the dormant Commerce Clause, federal antitrust laws and any other Act of Congress.” The groups signing the letter include: the Distilled Spirits Council; Wine Institute; Beer Institute; Brewers Association; and WineAmerica.
The letter appears below:
June 23, 2010
Dear Member of Congress:
We, the undersigned beer, wine and spirits associations representing virtually all alcohol beverages produced in the 50 states respectfully request you to preserve the effectiveness of the existing state-based alcohol regulatory system – and support the constitutional principles that protect the marketplace against discriminatory and anti-competitive state laws – by rejecting H.R. 5034.
The current system of alcohol beverage regulation in the U.S. provides a proven and effective balance between states and the federal government that allows for local flexibility while providing necessary consistency and fairness on a national basis. This allows producers, distributors and retailers to conduct business in an efficient and effective manner that best serves the interests of the American public.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) seek to dramatically alter the current system of alcohol regulation. With H.R. 5034, NBWA and WSWA want to put brewers, wineries, distillers and retailers at a competitive disadvantage; allow states to unfairly and arbitrarily enact protectionist laws against out-of-state beer, wine and spirits producers; and effectively eliminate federal oversight of alcohol. Specifically, H.R. 5034 would allow states to pass laws that violate the dormant Commerce Clause, federal antitrust laws and any other Act of Congress.
We fully support existing state alcohol regulatory systems and believe they provide an effective and efficient balance of control that serves the interests of consumers, producers and the marketplace as a whole. We strongly oppose H.R. 5034 and respectfully ask that you refrain from supporting this unnecessary legislation.
PRESIDENT & CEO
DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL
ROBERT P. KOCH
PRESIDENT & CEO
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR