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Exclusive: CARE Act Now “Off The Table” As Suppliers, Distributors Reach Rapprochement

March 20, 2012

A year ago at this time, there was considerable tension between the distribution and supplier tiers over the CARE Act, but the two sides now have apparently agreed to set aside their differences over the issue.

Last month, suppliers and distributors reached a rapprochement when WSWA and DISCUS leadership convened in Palm Beach. “The CARE Act is officially off the table,” says Republic National Distributing Co. president Tom Cole, who attended the joint meeting and adds that suppliers and distributors are now working together more closely than any time in the past few decades to resolve their differences.

Spirits, wine and beer wholesalers initiated CARE in an effort to affirm the states’ primacy over the federal government in crafting alcohol policy. Supplier groups, led by DISCUS, vociferously opposed CARE, contending that the bill would tilt the playing field too far in favor of distributors. While CARE never made it to a congressional vote last year, it remained a divisive issue in the months before and after WSWA’s annual convention in April, which many DISCUS members chose not to attend.

CARE was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 as the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act (HR 5034) and then was relaunched last year under a slightly revised name (the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act, or HR 1161).

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