The Canadian government agreed in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade accord to roll back a series of retail wine restrictions, acquiescing to American demands that were being heard at the World Trade Organization.
Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said in an undated letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the province of British Columbia will modify by Nov. 1, 2019, its requirement that retail stores only sell imported wines through a “store within a store” rather than on the same shelves as domestic wine bottles.
The development could resolve a long simmering WTO dispute between the U.S. and Canada, and serves as another example of how the Trump administration aims to resolve its trade grievances outside the context of the WTO. If Canada follows through with its pledge it will increase market access for U.S. wine producers.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement still requires ratification from the legislative branch of each participating government.
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