Leaked trade deal threat to Canadian wine18th August, 2014 by Simon Howland
Canada’s wine industry could face new restrictions within its own borders, if a leaked EU trade deal turns out to be accurate.
Based on information released in Germany, an impending trade deal between Canada and the European Union would restrict Canada’s domestic wine sales by limiting the number of privately run outlets selling solely domestic products, according to Canada’s CTV News.
A website in Germany posted the 521 page document alongside claims it is a copy of the impending trade agreement between Canada and the EU.
Should the leaked agreement turn out to be accurate it will see a clampdown on the sales of Canadian wine in Canada, limiting the number of privately run wine outlets in Ontario and BC entitled to sell solely Canadian products.
The document states the number of outlets allowed to sell only Canadian products “shall not exceed 292 in Ontario and 60 in British Columbia.”
According to CTV News the proposed limits have already been reached in both provinces meaning the agreement in its leaked form would see immediate restrictions on opening new Canadian stores selling only Canadian wine.
Canadian winemakers are confused by the agreement and Tyler Dawson, of B.C’s Liberty Wine Merchants argues it makes no sense.
“The irony is strange: a free-trade agreement, and limiting the sale of one country’s domestic product”, he said.
But International trade lawyer Matthew Kronby says if Canada has stores that only sell Canadian wine, but can’t sell EU wine, “that is discriminatory.”
According to the Canadian government, the details are being finalised ahead of a formal signing ceremony next month.
The trade deal, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the biggest in Canadian history, is intended to eliminate virtually all tariffs and many barriers on trade, investment and labour mobility.