Wine enters US-Canada trade dispute

posted by Andy Petersen -

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the Trump Administration has requested the World Trade Organization establish a dispute settlement panel. This time, the U.S. wants the panel to examine unfair rules governing the sale of wine in grocery stores in British Columbia. The USTR Office is challenging BC regulations that discriminate against U.S. and other imported wine by allowing only BC-produced wines to be displayed and sold on regular store shelves. Perdue says, “We just want customers in British Columbia to have the opportunity to buy our great American wine. The practice of discriminating against U.S. wine is unfair and cannot be tolerated any longer. Our wine producers rely on export markets and deserve fair treatment from our neighbors to the north.” Lighthizer adds that Canada is an important market for U.S. winemakers, saying that “B.C. and other Canadian provinces need to play by the rules. The Trump Administration will continue to hold our trading partners accountable by vigorously enforcing U.S. rights under our trade agreements and by promoting fair and reciprocal trade through all available tools.” The B.C. regulations exclude all imported wine from being displayed on grocery store shelves.

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