WASHINGTON, D.C. — America’s beer distributors arrived in Washington, D.C., this week for the 2014 National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) Legislative Conference to advocate for effective state-based alcohol regulation and to educate members of Congress about the 130,000 quality, full-time jobs that independent beer distributors provide.
Beer distributors are encouraging members of Congress to support state-based alcohol regulation and oppose proposals that would weaken this effective system that ensures safety, variety and value for consumers and communities across the nation. Beer distributors are asking members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 498, the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Reauthorization Act, which is necessary to coordinate support for federal efforts in the fight against underage drinking. The legislation also reaffirms the effective state-based regulation of alcohol. They also are advocating for full funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to ensure it can effectively regulate the alcohol industry in conjunction with the states.
As Congress considers proposals for tax reform, America’s beer distributors are encouraging Congress to advance tax policies that reduce individual and corporate rates equally, avoid repealing LIFO inventory accounting, maintain the current self-employment taxes, allow for estate and gift tax relief and provide certainty in succession planning.
“Our message is simple: we want to ensure that any tax reform being considered does not adversely affect small business,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser. “Corporate tax reform must not be balanced on the backs of America’s small, independent businesses like beer distributors — the very businesses that are generating jobs and making significant contributions to communities in every corner of the country.”
Monday’s Legislative Conference program featured a conversation with beer industry leaders, including NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser; American Beverage Licensees Executive Director John Bodnovich; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery President Sam Calagione; L&F Distributors, LLC Member/Manager Greg LaMantia; and Heineken USA, Inc. President & CEO Dolf van den Brink. The industry leaders focused on policy issues impacting the beer industry and the effectiveness of the independent three-tier system of beer distribution in ensuring access to market for brewers of all sizes. They highlighted the industry’s healthy and robust competition, including six consecutive years of double digit growth in craft beer sales. They also discussed how brewers and distributors can continue to work together to drive economic growth and provide American consumers with the most choice and variety of any country in the world — thousands of labels of beer from more than 2,400 breweries.
The program also included remarks from NBWA leadership, a legislative update and a political pundits panel featuring Rick Klein, political director for ABC News; Jackie Kucinich, political reporter for The Washington Post; and Anna Palmer, senior Washington correspondent for POLITICO.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit www.AmericasBeerDistributors.com. For additional updates from NBWA, follow @NBWABeer on Twitter, watch NBWA videos on www.youtube.com/NBWABeer and visit www.facebook.com/NBWABeer.