Schumer push gets Obama admin to back down

The New York State wine industry, and perhaps the wine industry in general, no doubt will be sending a collective thank-you note to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (right), D-NY, and a few other members of the state's congressional delegation that backed him.

The Obama administration will be withdrawing a proposal that would have increased costs for New York and other U.S. firms that export and import wine, according to Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport.

The proposal would have limited the ability of firms to use their exports of U.S. wines as an offset to import duties they are charged for foreign wine, a practice known as substitution drawback and in force for literally several centuries.

Schumer (above right) has led a persistent campaign to get the proposal rescinded to allow business to continute as usual.

While the practice helps small wineries grow their businesses, it is particularly helpful to large, multi-label winermakers and distributors.

For example, Constellation Brands of Victor, NY, the world's largest wine distributor, uses the substitution drawback to export its New York-produced Arbor Mist wine to Canada and its California labels of Mondavi, Ravenswood and Clos du Bois to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to spokesman Eric Thomas.

Go here for an earlier, detailed story on the topic.

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