The Obama Administration was, to put it mildly, not friendly to manufacturers of fine cigars. The incoming Trump team may be looking to reverse that. Excerpt:
Late last week, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the incoming chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, met with President-elect Donald Trump and submitted a list of 232 items that could be repealed immediately after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
“We must undo Obama’s harmful regulatory regime that has hurt hardworking Americans across the nation,” the group said in language akin to Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
One item in the report entitled “First 100 Days: Rules, Regulations and Executive Orders to Examine, Revoke and Issue” recommends stripping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its authority to regulate tobacco products.
Progressive-liberal firebrand U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who’s no fan of Republicans, urged the executive branch agency to back off premium cigars when it first began targeting the industry through a proposed administrative rule in 2014, but to no avail.
In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Grayson said that “the premium cigar industry is responsible for employing an estimated 20,000 Americans, and realizes almost $2 billion in annual revenue.”
The incoming Trump administration could extinguish the economic hardship on day one, according to Meadows.
Personally, I’m not concerned about the crappy, cheap-ass flavored cigarillos sold in liquor stores – except as a matter of principle. I’m personally concerned about more upscale cigars like my favored Cosechero maduros. But, moving back to those matters of principle, I’ll repeat something that has been a running theme here since I began keeping these virtual pages: It is not the role of government to protect people from the consequences of their own bad decisions.
Nor is it the role of government to use the power of taxation to influence decisions that the Top Men in government don’t approve. That’s what the Obama Administration has done with the various rules on fine cigars. That’s what the incoming Trump Administration will, hopefully, undo.