Washington D.C. – Today, Congressional Wine Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) applauded a new trade enforcement action to ensure both imported and local wines have equal access to grocery store shelves in Canada. Currently in British Columbia, only wines produced in the province can be sold on grocery store shelves. This week, the United States challenged that regulation for discriminating against U.S. wine producers.
“Our American wineries make some of the best wines in the world, and denying them access to grocery stores in British Columbia not only hinders the growth of our entrepreneurs, but denies Canadians access to our products,” said Thompson and Hunter. “It is encouraging that British Columbia wants to open grocery stores as a new distribution channel for wine, but as a member of the WTO, any expansion must include products from around the world. Any trade partnership must be based on a level playing field where everyone has a chance to grow their economy—including American winemakers.”
Under the WTO dispute settlement process, the U.S. and Canada undergo consultations to resolve this complaint. If a mutually-agreed upon solution cannot be reached during the consultation period, the U.S. may request a dispute settlement panel to examine the matter.
For more information, please see the U.S. Trade Representative’s full release here: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2017/january/Challenges_Canadian_Trade_Measures_That_Discriminate_Against_US_Wine.