IBWA Advocacy Report - Op Ed on Tariffs, IBWA PAC News, State Engagement Review, and more
June 25, 2021 by Cory Martin

June 25, 2021

IBWA Member Aqua Filter Fresh Weighs In with Op Ed on the Impact of Tariffs

Joe Bell with Aqua Filter Fresh recently penned an opinion editorial that was included in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Joe writes, “Unless President Joe Biden and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai move to repeal [the] tariffs, there will be a large number of businesses and workers who won’t fully enjoy the fruits of the economic recovery.

The former administration claimed that tariffs and its trade war with China would give American businesses a competitive edge, it has actually made things harder for them. That’s because tariffs aren’t paid by China, they are paid directly to the government by the companies who import the things they need to make their businesses work. The higher the tariffs, the greater the costs of keeping a business afloat.

This is something I’ve experienced firsthand. One of my companies sells water coolers and, as is the case for other industries, tariffs affect just about every facet of what we make and how we do business. Some components like thermostats, compressors and relays simply aren’t available anywhere else, meaning the costs of the coolers we make goes up no matter which country they’re manufactured in.”

Click HERE to read the full op ed. 

The IBWA PAC: The Industry's Resource to Strengthen Relationships with Your Members of Congress

While several effective resources can come into play for industry advocacy, none is like the IBWA Political Action Committee (PAC). The IBWA PAC is unique in that it is the industry’s only mechanism to collect contributions from individuals who work for companies that are members of IBWA and distribute those funds to Members of Congress and candidates who represent your company, understand the issues the bottled water industry faces, and will support sound public policies affecting our industry.

To share certain information about PAC activities and events with, and solicit contributions from, executive and administrative employees of IBWA’s members, members must first provide IBWA with a signed “Authorization to Solicit” form.

Click HERE to fill out this form online.

The form is easy to complete and will only take you a moment to fill out. If you are unsure if your company has turned in this form, click HERE to view the list of IBWA members who have submitted a form for this year or contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin at: cmartin@bottledwater.org or 703.647.4618.

State Engagement Review

New Jersey Recycled Content Mandate Bill Passes Senate; Additional Work Expected in Assembly

Legislation addressing recycled content mandates for several products, including plastic beverage containers, was approved by a narrow vote in New Jersey’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Click HERE to read more.

Maine Wraps Up Legislative Session With Passage of Several Important Bills

In the final days of the Maine legislative session, several bills of interest to the bottled water industry saw action. Legislation on mandatory recycled content (LD 1467), extended producer responsibility (LD 1541), and a water resources study (LD 1569) all received final approval as the legislature moved toward adjournment. Click HERE to read more. 

Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Bottle Deposit Bill Reform Legislation

After several years of attempting to make small changes to Connecticut’s struggling bottle deposit program with little success, both chambers of the General Assembly rapidly approved sweeping reform language on June 3 that will have a huge impact on industry and consumers in the state. Click HERE to read more. 

DRIVE Safe Act Under Consideration in the Senate

IBWA, along with over 120 other organizations, recently sent a letter to Senators Cantwell (D-WA) and Wicker (R-MS), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, encouraging the adoption of a bipartisan amendment that would add the DRIVE Safe Act (S. 659) to S. 2016, the Surface Transportation Investment Act. The amendment will address the nation’s growing truck driver shortage by promoting opportunity and enhanced safety training for emerging members of the transportation workforce.

The latest report is that Senate Committee leadership is looking to work with amendment sponsors to compromise by creating a pilot program headed by the Department of Transportation. 

Click HERE to read the letter.

IBWA GR Committee Discusses Trade Policy, Recycling Infrastructure, and the Changing Advocacy Landscape at Summer Meeting

The IBWA Government Relations Committee met virtually on June 9, 2021. The meeting began with an overview of the Biden Administration’s trade agenda and then a discussion on Section 301 tariffs impacting water coolers. Jon Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy with the National Retail Federation, and chair of the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, led this discussion and shared good news in that the U.S. Senate recently passed legislation mandating that the U.S. Trade Representative provide exclusions until December 2022 for products that had previously received exclusions, which would include water coolers. What is uncertain is how the U.S. House of Representatives will act on this bill. IBWA and the Coalition is set to continue meeting with House representatives who have authority over trade issues and urge their support of this legislation. 

Click HERE for the full report. 

State Affairs Task Force Reviews Myriad Issues Impacting the Industry 

The State Affairs Task Force met virtually on June 8, 2021, with reports from IBWA’s lobbyists in the states. With several states adjourned for 2021, most of the discussion focused on those states that are still active with important bottled water industry issues.

Click HERE for the full report. 

Federal and State Legislative Report

Click HERE to view the current IBWA State Legislative Report, and click HERE to view the IBWA Federal Legislative Report. These reports include information on medium and high priority bills that IBWA is currently tracking that have seen action over the last couple of weeks. 

Also, you can download the Excel listing of all legislation that IBWA is tracking by clicking HERE. This is up to date as of June 25, 2021.

For more information on IBWA advocacy issues, please contact Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4618 or cmartin@bottledwater.org, or JP Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4616 or jtoner@bottledwater.org.


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