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August 28, 2018
Australia claims Canadian rules on wine sales are unfair, requests WTO panel
Australia submitted a first request for a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel in its complaint concerning measures maintained by the Canadian government and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia governing the sale of wine.
Australia had requested consultations with Canada in January, but said the consultations which took place in March and subsequent informal technical discussions with Canada failed to resolve the matter, prompting it to submit its request for a panel.
Australia noted that a panel was established by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in a similar complaint against Canadian wine restrictions brought by the United States and that it expected dispute procedures for multiple complaints will be applied.
The United States said it fully supported Australia's request for the establishment of a panel.
Canada said it was not in a position to agree to Australia's request, declaring that it had serious concerns about deficiencies in Australia's initial request for consultations which were repeated in the request for a panel. Canada said it remained open to continued discussions with Australia aimed at resolving the matter.
The DSB took note of the statements. A second request from Australia at a later DSB meeting would result in the appointment of a Panel.
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