10 April 2019

The Liberal-National Government has today reached an agreement with Canada to remove unfair restrictions on Australian wine sales in the province of British Columbia.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the Canadian Government had agreed to eliminate discriminatory measures that limit opportunities for Australian wine sales in British Columbia, by 1 November of this year.

“The removal of this discriminatory trade barrier will allow our wine exporters to access retail shelves and compete on a level playing field with Canadian wine in the province of British Colombia,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This is good news for our wine exporters. Canada is an important market for Australian wine with exports totalling $208 million in 2018.

“With the TPP-11 eliminating all tariffs on Australian wine exports to Canada, this is a market with huge potential growth for our wine industry and this agreement will provide more opportunities for our wine exporters to sell more Australian wine in Canada.

“The combined impact of the TPP and the resolution of this trade dispute over British Columbia measures means that Australian wine will be on more shelves with lower tariffs in a Canadian province with a population in excess of five million people.”

In January 2018, the Australian Government initiated dispute action in the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Canada’s discriminatory measures affecting Australian wine at the federal level and in four Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

“Whilst this breakthrough in relation to British Columbia is important progress and a very useful precedent, Australia will continue to pursue our ongoing concerns through the WTO dispute process we initiated last year,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We will continue to back our wine producers and stand-up against any practices that could disadvantage their ability to export our in-demand and high-quality wine to the world.

“Consistent with our strong bilateral relationship, we remain open to resolving our remaining concerns with Canada outside of the WTO process.”

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