March 17th – Washington, DC—WineAmerica, the national association of American wineries, has released a document detailing its overall government affairs strategy and legislative agenda for 2021. The document includes an overview of the government affairs process, major achievements of 2020, the legislative priorities for 2021, and detailed position papers on the key issues.
“Growers produce grapes, wineries produce wine, and WineAmerica produces policy,” said WineAmerica President Jim Trezise. “Think of our industry as an incredibly strong three-legged stool which would collapse if any leg was missing. Since wine is a farm product, grape growers and winemakers are always discussing the natural climate while we at WineAmerica focus on the business climate for wine.”
Michael Kaiser, Vice President of Government Affairs, spearheads WineAmerica’s legislative and regulatory agenda with support from Vice President of Development Tara Good and President Jim Trezise. At critical times he also mobilizes member wineries and trade associations around the country to contact their legislators. The organization’s State and Regional Associations Advisory Council (SRAAC) with over 40 active associations is a vital resource for catalyzing national grassroots public policy advocacy.
“Despite all the Covid-caused disruptions, 2020 turned out to be one of the best years we’ve had in terms of legislative and regulatory achievements,” said Michael Kaiser. “We achieved our goals, thanks largely to the active involvement of our winery and association members, along with our beverage coalition partners.”
Priority #1 was permanence of the reduced excise tax rates under the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. WineAmerica also actively lobbied for the Paycheck Protection Program and other programs in the Covid relief packages. The Tax and Trade Bureau created new standards of fill which will make wine in cans more economically attractive. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans remained the same despite a proposal to change them which WineAmerica opposed. And the Department of Justice consent decrees on music licensing remain in effect.
WineAmerica is also off to a good start in 2021, with $28.6 billion of Restaurant Act funds included in the American Rescue Plan, though a total of $120 billion is being sought. Other 2021 priorities include immigration reform, tariff elimination, Farm Bill development, music licensing transparency, and other issues.
WineAmerica is the only national wine industry association in the USA. With 500-members across the country, WineAmerica encourages the growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy in Washington D.C.. WineAmerica relies 100% on membership dues. Our small but highly dedicated team is committed to protect and enhance the business climate for American wine. Join today to stay abreast of the policy and regulation that matters to you. Learn more at www.wineamerica.org/membership.
Find the WineAmerica 2021 Government Affairs Book at https://wineamerica.org/government-affairs-2021/