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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Troubling Beer & Wine Distribution Legislation

How does something like this have any support at all?
There is currently a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would give states more authority to regulate alcohol, which in turn would block interstate sales of beer and wine... Naturally, putting such a squeeze on the open market would limit competition, raise prices, and economically impair small vintners and brewers.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association is lobbying heavily in favor of the bill and has already contributed to the coffers of bill cosponsors. The NBWA claims they’re only trying to ensure states have better control in defending their alcohol laws, but bill critics claim that the NBWA is only trying to limit competition. Jonathan Yarowsky, lobbyist for the Beer Institute, states that brewers believe the bill “would lead to a protectionist and anti-competitive system that would hurt consumers.”
The bill is currently stuck in committee--thankfully--but has lots of beer distributor cash behind it. (The acronym, CARE, and supporters' rhetoric about how it will save the kids is all a little hard to swallow when follow the money.) The legislation is a response to the 2005 Supreme Court decision that "states cannot discriminate between in-state and out-of-state wineries in direct shipping to consumers."

I hope Peter DeFazio is on the case.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no constitutional lawyer but the NBWA claims they accommodate Granholm in HR 5034: