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The federal government has reached an agreement to ensure that Australian wine exports can access the Canadian market on a level playing field.

Australia and Canada have settled the remaining measures in Australia’s World Trade Organization challenge to Canadian wine measures.

Under the settlement, Canada has agreed to the phased removal of discriminatory measures imposed by the province of Quebec, which disadvantaged Australian wine producers.

Minister for trade Dan Tehan said the settlement was an important victory for Australian wine makers and rules-based global trade.

“Removing these trade barriers will allow Australian wine makers to fairly compete for Canadian customers, and more customers means more sales and more jobs and growth in Australia,” Mr Tehan said.

“Our success demonstrates the strength of the WTO dispute settlement system and underlines why Australia is working to reform the organisation to keep it relevant.

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“Australia strongly supports the multilateral rules-based trading system, with the WTO at its core, and we will continue to work within that system to stand up for the rights of Australian exporters while resolving trade matters in a respectful manner.”

Minister for agriculture David Littleproud said the agreement brought to an end the dispute proceedings initiated by Australia.

“Canada is Australia’s fourth largest export market for wine, worth more than $192 million a year, so this is a big win for our wine producers,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This successful outcome will deliver commercially-meaningful outcomes for Australian wine producers and is testament to our strong relationship with Canada.

“The agreement addresses our longstanding trade concerns and demonstrates the benefits of the rules-based trading system, and the WTO dispute settlement system in particular, as a means of resolving disputes between WTO members.”

The Australian Government initiated dispute action in the WTO in 2018 against Canada’s discriminatory measures affecting Australian wine at the federal level and in four Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Australia and Canada reached settlement agreements in respect to British Colombia in April 2019, federal and Nova Scotia measures in June 2020, and for Ontario in July 2020.

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