Pennsylvania Members of Congress Send Letter To President Trump On Cigar Regulation
Source: Cigar Rights of America
On June 25th, nine members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump commending his efforts on Executive Order 13924 which aims “to provide regulatory relief to support the restoration of American jobs and broader economic recovery.”
This group made their original plea for regulatory relief to the Trump Administration on September 13, 2019. Since that original letter, the group has added Congressman John Joyce, in their continued efforts to highlight the role of premium cigars in the Pennsylvania economy.
In sending this letter to President Trump, the Representatives linked the issue of premium cigar regulation to the executive order and urged the President to prioritize action to roll back FDA's regulation of premium cigars.
Glynn Loope, executive director of CRA, stated upon the letter's release,
“We appreciate this effort by many in the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation that have strong lines of communication to the President and Administration. The group wanted to connect regulatory relief for premium cigars to President Trump's May 19 Executive Order that directed agencies to “address rescinding, modifying, waiving or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery.”
“Especially at this critical juncture in the state of the national economy, the premium cigar sector is especially vulnerable due to a supply chain that spans from the Ports of Florida, to the tobacco fields of Lancaster County, to the distribution channels in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to retailers throughout the nation. This letter is most timely in light of the impact of cigar regulations on the Pennsylvania economy, making it all the more important to bring it to the President's attention.”
To read a copy of the letter, click here. It is also reproduced in the abbreviated form below.
Dear Mr. President:
We write to commend your Executive Order 13924 issued on May 19, 2020, to provide regulatory relief to support the restoration of American jobs and broader economic recovery. One egregious regulation that we believe fits squarely within the purview of E.O. 13924 involves an Obama-Biden Administration regulation on premium cigars. This unique industry is comprised of scores of small manufacturers and thousands of small business retail shops, many of whom were struggling to survive the regulations prior to the pandemic – surely most will be wiped out after the pandemic should the regulations not be rescinded. We are aware your Administration has been reviewing these regulations and urge you to prioritize action. The premium cigar industry has a rich history in Pennsylvania and the state is home to the entire industry supply chain including small business retail stores, tobacco farmers and numerous mail-order businesses employing thousands of Pennsylvanians.
When Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act in 2009, it sought to achieve two noble goals – eliminate consumption of tobacco products by underage youth and prevent the scientifically proven negative health effects of addiction to tobacco products. Neither of these elements apply to the premium cigar industry as its products are exclusively marketed to adult consumers who enjoy them in moderation. We are aware that FDA’s own research has shown this to be the case.
Efforts to eliminate the applicability of these onerous, job-killing regulations has received broad support over the years including co-sponsorship of former Congressmen Mike Pence, Mark Meadows, Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo. Elimination of these regulations will preserve jobs and small businesses in each of our districts and across the country. If these regulations are permitted to remain in force, these businesses will close their doors and a niche industry which has existed for hundreds of years will be fundamentally destroyed. We appreciate the efforts that have been underway for some time through the Domestic Policy Council and urge you to ensure that a determination is made as quickly as possible to enable these businesses across Pennsylvania to keep their doors open and Americans employed.
Thank you for your consideration of our views.