The House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on H.R. 5034, known to some as the “Wholesaler Protection Act,” on Wednesday, September 29 at 11:00am Eastern Time. The hearings will be streamed live via the House Judiciary website.
The Bill is opposed by producers of beer, wine, and spirits; beverage importers; and wine retailers. It appears that within the wine industry, only alcohol wholesalers, who wrote the Bill, support it. In short, the bill would stifle competition and alcohol distribution reforms.
The impact of this move on your local retailers could be devastating. Among the things states would be able to do under H.R. 5034 are:
- Allow states to stop out-of-state retailers from shipping to you (even though in-state retailers may continue)>
- Prohibit advertising by out-of-state retailers
- Impose huge fees and taxes on out-of-state retailers for the right to do business in the state
- Prevent non-resident retailers from opening more than one outlet in the state
These hearings are the first time in many years that issues of alcohol distribution have been laid out, examined, and debated in a national venue. Contact your state representatives on behalf of local wineries and wine retailers.