ALERT – Carlito Fuente Addresses Congressional Cigar Caucus

Congressional Cigar Caucus Host Cigar Policy Roundtable

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, Congressman Dan Meuser (D-PA), Co-chairman of the Congressional Cigar Caucus (Cigar Caucus), hosted a Cigar Policy Roundtable on Capitol Hill aimed at providing insight into how policy and regulations are impacting the premium cigar industry.

The Roundtable featured a distinguished list of speakers who represented the industry, including Carlos Fuente Jr., President of Tabacalera A. Fuente, who was there on behalf of Cigar Rights of America (CRA).

During his speech, Fuente recalled growing up in a cigar family as a child and how that cigar factory was more than just a manufacturing facility, it was a place for family, friends, and community to gather and socialize.  Fuente also emphasized that the industry is about more than just cigars, it was a key cultural identity of the community.  An identity that is now under attack from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Congressman Meuser, who represents a portion of the Pennsylvania cigar industry, echoed a similar sentiment stating, “This is an industry of small, family businesses, from the farms that grow Pennsylvania Broadleaf in my district, to the rolling factories in the Dominican Republic, to the specialty retail tobacconist on main streets all across the United States. This industry is made up overwhelmingly of family businesses, not big corporations. And yet the federal government is trying to regulate and tax the industry out of existence. I’m fighting against this overreach in Congress and for small American businesses that produce a product that brings people together.”

The Roundtable also centered their discussion on recently proposed regulations by FDA and how these regulations threaten to alter the way artisan hand-made premium cigars are made.  Everyone in attendance agreed that FDA’s efforts are a fundamental misuse of government resources that will have a disproportionate downstream effect on local economies in the Caribbean Basin where premium cigars are made.

Overall, the Roundtable was a well-attended event and served as a great opportunity for the industry to further our message to the Members of Congress in attendance, and their staff, that premium cigars are distinct from mass-market tobacco products and should not be regulated by the FDA.

As the premiere voice for hand-rolled cigar advocacy in Washington, CRA looks forward to participating in future events with the Cigar Caucus and sharing our insights on how regulations affect the industry.

About Cigar Rights of America (CRA): Cigar Rights of America is a national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers, retail tobacconists, suppliers, distributors, importers, and manufacturers of premium cigars. CRA works to promote and preserve the freedom to enjoy premium cigars.

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