There was quite the Caribbean feel on Capitol Hill this week. And it was complete with some of the islands’ most well-known products.
Reps. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) and Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-Puerto Rico) officially launched the new Congressional Rum Caucus.
This is the first-ever Congressional caucus promoting the rum industry.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the rum industry generated $2.3 billion in sales in 2018 in the U.S. alone.
Some of the world’s top rum makers are based in the U.S. territories, including Cruzan and Bacardi.
Local U.S. lawmakers hope the caucus will help promote commerce and awareness of the industry in Washington.
“Rum cover-over and the taxes that come back to the territories is really important to our economy,” Plaskett said. “We wanted to get members involved in that discussion.”
“The Congressional Rum Caucus is an opportunity for members of Congress to come together and look out for the interests of the great rum industry in the United States,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Both Plaskett, a Democrat, and Gonzalez-Colon, a Republican, will serve as caucus co-chairs.