Helping Congress See the Local Contributions of America’s Brewers
Last week, America’s brewers flew in to Washington, D.C. from all corners of the nation to meet with our representatives in Congress and thank them for supporting our thriving, competitive industry.
“Beer advocates from all across the U.S. met with members of both parties to highlight beer’s contributions to local economies and communities,” said Beer Institute director of public affairs Alex Davidson. “Beer plays a role in every Congressional district in the country, and last week was another opportunity to tell those stories.”
The story of beer’s contribution to local communities is strong. Altogether, our industry of more than two million American workers generates over $330 billion in local economic benefits. We drive over $102 billion in wages for these workers and their families, and support multiple industries across the U.S., including truck drivers, restaurants, bars and local family farms. The beer industry generates almost $45 billion in domestic agriculture economic output alone, with hops, barley, rice and corn growers being our key partners.
Sadly, all these local benefits are under attack on a variety of fronts. We discussed these urgent threats with our lawmakers and offered solutions to grow and strengthen America’s beer industry. Among our concerns:
Not All Alcohol Is The Same
Tax carveout proposals for big liquor bellyflopped this year in state legislative sessions. In Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Washington, Arizona and West Virginia, bills either stalled or failed as lawmakers stood up for local beer economies and millions of good beer jobs. North Carolina was the latest state where legislators pushed back on tax breaks for out-of-state liquor companies. Elected officials everywhere recognize that not all alcohol is the same — beer and liquor are very different products. Tax and regulatory frameworks in these states reflect this differentiated reality.
Tariff Relief Is Inflation Relief
America’s brewers support more than two million jobs across the country. But unfortunately, our dynamic industry’s support for its massive workforce continues to be hamstrung by aluminum tariffs. Eliminating Section 232 aluminum tariffs would show strong support for U.S. jobs and provide critical relief to beer’s job creators. Every year, more than 70 percent of all beer produced and sold in this country is packaged in aluminum cans and aluminum bottles. Since 2018, the American beverage industry has paid $1.4 billion in tariffs — and 92 percent did not go to the U.S. Treasury. As the CEOs of Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands and HEINEKEN USA reiterated in a letter to President Biden, we urge the President to remove the Section 232 aluminum tariffs and believe an investigation by his administration into aluminum market manipulation and benchmarking would bring much-needed transparency to the marketplace and relief to end-users and American families.
The Beer Industry is Vibrant and Competitive
Earlier this spring, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report on the alcohol market that ignores key facts on how the beer industry drives growth and innovation in the U.S. economy. The beer industry is among the country’s most competitive and successful industries and we encourage the Biden administration to avoid new rulemaking that would disrupt a well-functioning and model marketplace with unnecessary and duplicative regulations.
Recognizing Industry Champions
For decades, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have recognized our impact on local economies and communities. This year’s outreach on Capitol Hill included the recognition of the contributions of eight members of Congress who understand this impact more than most. Congrats to our 2022 Beer Champions:
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Nearly 65,000 Wisconsin jobs are supported by the beer industry with nearly $10 billion in economic impact.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Over 11,000 Arkansas jobs are supported by the beer industry with $2 billion in economic impact.
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
Over 7,200 North Dakota jobs are supported by the beer industry with nearly $1 billion in economic impact.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Nearly 39,000 New Jersey jobs are supported by the beer industry with over $6.3 billion in economic impact.
Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Nearly 54,000 Georgia jobs are supported by the beer industry with $8.6 billion in economic impact.
Representative Ken Buck (R-CO)
Over 58,500 Colorado jobs are supported by the beer industry with nearly $11.5 billion in economic impact.
Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Nearly 81,000 Illinois jobs are supported by the beer industry with nearly $14 billion in economic impact.
Representative Al Lawson (D-FL)
Over 157,000 Florida jobs are supported by the beer industry with $21.5 billion in economic impact.
As these Beer Champions have made clear, America’s brewers are cornerstones of communities across the country and generate millions for local economies.
We thank every member who participated in this year’s Hill Climb and look forward to continuing working with them to grow our critical industry and protect American beer jobs.