On Friday, Dan Newhouse and Mike Thompson, co-chairs of the Congressional Wine Caucus sent a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue seeking COVID-19 relief for wine grape growers. The bipartisan letter, signed by 41 members of Congress, is in response to the fact that wine grapes were not included in the list of commodities eligible for CFAP assistance. Newhouse noted that the coronavirus pandemic has had a $1 billion impact on the Washington Wine economy alone.
“Certainly from wine sales from wine grape production and all the impacts that, negative impacts that can be attributed to the pandemic. So, the need is there, the industry is a huge part of our economy.”
Newhouse said the assistance they have requested would work very similarly to the Paycheck Protection Program. But he acknowledged this funding will not make anyone whole.
“It would be responding to challenges across the board whether it’s the marketing, or production, just like other industries. And frankly as farmers they’re looking for any help they can get to provide some relief.”
Newhouse said the ultimate goal is to ensure the wine industry comes out of the pandemic as healthy as possible.
Click Here to read the entire letter sent to Ag Secretary Perdue.
Other northwest lawmakers that signed last week’s letter include Oregon’s Suzanne Bonamici and Peter Defazio as well as Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Kim Schrier.
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