Grassroots Wine co-founder Harry Root is living up to his company's name: Last Tuesday, Root traveled to Washington
to solicit the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade to immediately schedule a hearing regarding the proposed 100 percent European wine tariffs that could go into effect as soon as tomorrow.
Since then, Root reports back on on Facebook, that he has met with five senators' chiefs of staff, six members of Congress, the panel of U.S. Trade Rep speakers, and lobbyists. Root says they have close to 100 members of Congress who have issued "some form of written commentary to the USTR protesting the tariffs."
Back in Charleston, Graft Wine Shop, Monarch Wine Merchants, Stems & Skins, Edmund's Oast Exchange, Estadio, and Husk (so far) have posted about Monday specials on "Wine Tariff Reckoning Day."
These area restaurants and retailers join a growing coalition of businesses around the country opposed to the imposition of these tariffs.
One shared Instagram caption reads: "These tariffs will have wide-reaching, devastating effects, threatening to single-handedly wipe out many U.S. wine-centric businesses, and ultimately effecting virtually all segments of our economy!"
For one night only the businesses will display three prices on their menu: today's price, the price of the wine should the tariff go through, and a discounted price for anyone who has participated in the tariff protests. Show your receipt of comment on the tariff (comment over at Regulations.gov
) and get 20 percent off at Estadio and 10 percent off with proof of comment at the other local participants.
Root is in D.C. today to ask U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the Ways and Means chairman, to call a hearing. Starting at 4:30 p.m. he and others in the wine industry (including EOX's Sarah O'Kelley
) are holding a forum and wine and cheese reception in the Rayburn Office Building near the Capitol with the entire staff of Ways and Means. Root (and many people around the country) are hoping that Neal will put the matter on the floor this evening when Congress reconvenes.
Time is very much of the essence — you can help Root and thousands of other small American businesses opposed to the 100 percent tariffs on wine (and a long list of other European imports) by commenting publicly until midnight tonight. You can sign the Save American Wine Jobs
; you can also email and call
your member of Congress. Learn how to engage with them with this worksheet
by Save American Wine Jobs.