Wine and WTO story

Australia has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the rules that Canada and various provinces apply to the sale of wine.

As reported here, the Australian complaint alleges that Canadian product markups, market access and listing policies and duties and taxes on wine applied at the federal and provincial level “may discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against imported wine.”

In addition to the federal government, Australia specifically mentioned Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia as breaking WTO rules. The complaint comes as wine sales through the grocery retail chain are on the increase in Canada.

At the end of last year, the United States accused British Columbia of unfairly favouring the province’s winemakers by giving them an exclusive retail channel in grocery stores that was not made available to U.S. competitors.

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