In May, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act (H.R. 3721) alongside Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and eight original House co-sponsors. This legislation would end the Prohibition-era ban that prevents the United States Postal Service (USPS) from shipping alcoholic beverages to consumers and allow them to ship directly from licensed producers and retailers to consumers over the age of 21, in accordance with state and local laws at the delivery location. This bill is critical in leveling the playing field and increasing consumer and manufacturer choice while bringing in millions of dollars in revenue per year.
“We thank Representatives Newhouse and Wexton for their bipartisan legislation,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman. “As our small, domestic businesses have grown over the past 15 years, allowing the USPS to ship craft spirits will provide access to another important delivery option for small distillers in the U.S. Many of those distilleries are located in rural areas where support of their local Main Street matters. Access to the 31,000 post offices in the U.S. would be a game changer, helping their small businesses to succeed and grow. We hope the Congress will act soon on this important small business initiative.”
“While other carriers deliver alcoholic beverages directly to consumers, current law prohibits USPS from taking similar action,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Allowing USPS to deliver wine, beer and spirits produced across our great nation provides another option for shipping carriers. This is extremely beneficial to small craft breweries and locally owned wineries, especially in rural regions like Central Washington, who struggle to gain market access. The time has come for us to shatter these barriers and unlock the tremendous potential of the wine and alcoholic beverage industry. This crucial legislation has the potential to create opportunity for the wine, beer and spirits landscape, foster economic growth and empower consumers and businesses alike.”
“The outdated prohibition on shipping alcohol through the Postal Service is bad for consumers and bad for small businesses—imposing unnecessary costs and hassle,” said Rep. Wexton. “I’m proud to partner with Rep. Newhouse on this long-overdue, bipartisan reform to support local brewers, vineyards and distillers by improving their affordable shipping options and opening up access to new markets.”