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By December 18, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

Wine Institute Commends Passage of Omnibus Bill: COOL Repeal and TTB Funding Increase Will Benefit Wineries

Wine InstituteWashington, D.C. — Wine Institute applauds congressional passage of the Omnibus funding bill which includes two critical provisions benefiting U.S. wine producers. Language included in the Omnibus will prevent a trade war with Canada and Mexico by repealing U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) provisions that violate WTO rules, and also provide much needed additional funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the regulatory agency overseeing the industry.

Canada and Mexico were within a matter of days of placing retaliatory tariffs totaling more than $1 billion on U.S. exports including wine. The COOL repeal language included in the Omnibus will ensure this retaliation does not happen.

Wine Institute led industry allies in an effort to successfully secure a significant increase of 5 percent in the annual budget for TTB. This new funding level of $106.4 million will help partially reverse recent declines that have forced TTB to shrink its workforce by 10 percent since 2007. This will allow for the hiring of twenty new staff to help address backlogs and delays in Certificate of Label Approvals (COLAs), formula applications, and other critical functions.

“Passage of the Omnibus will once and for all lift the threat of potentially devastating tariffs on California wine and allow our producers to get back to focusing on growing their sales in these key markets,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “The additional funding for TTB will help ensure they are better able to respond to the tremendous growth in the industry and provide key functions in a timely manner,” added Koch.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy association representing nearly 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses throughout California who are responsible for 90 percent of U.S. wine production.

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