Earlier this week, we heard from GOP presidential hopefuls about their plans to create jobs and stimulate the economy.  Last night, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress - tackling the very same topic.

As the President and Members of Congress seek solutions to our double-digit unemployment and lagging economy, we’d like to remind them that the beverage industry is an important part of America’s economy.  We provide more than 208,000 good-paying jobs across our country – and help to support hundreds of thousands more that depend, in part, on beverage sales for their livelihood – with a direct economic impact of $178.5 billion. In fact, beverage companies, employees, and firms and employees indirectly employed by the industry also provide significant tax revenues – nearly $26 billion at the state level and as much as $32 billion at the federal level – and generously contribute at least $1.9 billion to charitable causes in communities across the nation.

And we take great pride in the fact that our industry is a long-standing contributor to the economic engine that drives our country.