Policy Perspectives

Wine World Beat

As mentioned last week, FIVS is like a global version of WineAmerica, monitoring and influencing public policy developments on an international level. The organization’s 55 members from 25 worldwide markets represent about 75% of the world’s wine production.

Also, like WineAmerica, FIVS publishes regular updates on recent developments such as those in its most recent e-newsletter. Here’s a very brief sampling:

  • Chile: The government exempted wine and pisco from a new excise tax increase on tobacco, sugary drinks, and other alcoholic beverages, reflecting the importance of wine and pisco to the country’s economy
  • Czech Republic: The government is strongly considering an excise tax on wine because the vast majority is imported, so local impact would be relatively small
  • France: Over 70 deputies (legislators) went on record as strongly opposing a possible excise tax increase on wine due to its potential negative impact on a home-grown industry
  • Global: A recent, highly credible study concluded that advertising bans do not reduce the harmful use of alcohol, despite claims and assumptions to the contrary.

While these examples may seem remote and irrelevant, in fact they reflect the interplay of politics and economics around the world. In the United States, at least for now, on a national level we are very fortunate to have an industry which covers all 50 states, a $276 billion annual benefit to the U.S. economy, and WineAmerica to remind legislators about that every day. And at least for now, we have public officials in key places who appreciate that.