AUSTRALIA is taking further steps in a World Trade Organization dispute with Canada revolving around measures that Australia regards as discriminatory against its wine exports.
Australia initiated a formal WTO dispute settlement action in January, with trade minister Steven Ciobo saying at the time several Canadian provinces imposed “arbitrary and disadvantageous” restrictions on the sale of imported wine.
In a statement made today (15 August), Mr Ciobo said Canada has not taken concrete action to respond to Australia’s concerns, requesting the WTO establish a pane to resolve the dispute with Canada.
“Wine is an important export for Australia and helps create and support Australian jobs. The Turnbull Government will stand up for our producers and not allow other countries to discriminate against us, costing us exports and potentially jobs,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Consistent with our strong bilateral relationship, Australia remains open to discussing resolution of our concerns with Canada.”
Mr Ciobo noted that Canada is Australia’s fourth largest export market for wine, currently valued at $187m.
“Australia strongly supports the multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its heart,” Mr Ciobo said.
“One of the key strengths of the WTO is its disputes system, which ensures WTO Members comply fully with their commitments.”
The full text of Australia’s request for consultations to the WTO, lodged in January, can be read on the WTO’s website.