The row over direct shipping in the US goes on

The row over direct shipping in the US goes on

Five US drinks industry bodies have written to all members of Congress in the country, opposing the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act.

The Distilled Spirits Council, the Wine Institute, the Beer Institute, the Brewers Association and WineAmerica all signed the letter, which was sent out yesterday (23 June), calling the bill “discriminatory and anti-competitive”.

Designated HR 5034, the bill is backed by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), and was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

The aim of the bill is to preserve the sanctity of the state legislatures in regulating alcohol, which some parties believe has been undermined by the Granholm/Heald ruling of 2005.

“The current system of alcohol beverage regulation in the US 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.,” the letter says. “This allows producers, distributors and retailers to conduct business in an efficient and effective manner that best serves the interests of the American public.

“With HR 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.”

For more in-depth consideration of the CARE Act, click here.