Recognizing the need to promote a fair, open, and competitive marketplace, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order promoting competition in the American economy. Covering a wide range of businesses and activities, provisions of the order specific to beverage alcohol include: (j) To protect the vibrancy of the American markets for beer, wine, and spirits, and to improve market access for smaller, independent, and new operations, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Chair of the FTC, not later than 120 days after the date of this order, shall submit a report to the Chair of the White House Competition Council, assessing the current market structure and conditions of competition, including an assessment of any threats to competition and barriers to new entrants, including: (i) any unlawful trade practices in the beer, wine, and spirits markets, such as certain exclusionary, discriminatory, or anticompetitive distribution practices, that hinder smaller and independent businesses or new entrants from distributing their products; (ii) patterns of consolidation in production, distribution, or retail beer, wine, and spirits markets; and (iii) any unnecessary trade practice regulations of matters such as bottle sizes, permitting, or labeling that may unnecessarily inhibit competition by increasing costs without serving any public health, informational, or tax purpose. (k) To follow up on the foregoing assessment, the Secretary of the Treasury, through the Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, shall, not later than 240 days after the date of this order, consider: (i) initiating a rulemaking to update the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s trade practice regulations; (ii) rescinding or revising any regulations of the beer, wine, and spirits industries that may unnecessarily inhibit competition; and (iii) reducing any barriers that impede market access for smaller and independent brewers, winemakers, and distilleries.
Pete Johnson serves as the State & Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Brewers Association (BA). He joined the BA at its inception in 2005, having previously worked as Programs Director for the Brewers Association of America. Before coming to the small brewing industry in 2001, Pete worked for 14 years with both state and federal elected officials in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.See Pete Johnson's Articles