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Argentina, Australia, the European Union and New Zealand have all requested to join in the consultations. Subsequently, Canada informed the Dispute Settlement Board that it had accepted the requests of Argentina, Australia, the European Union and New Zealand to join the consultations.
On January 18, 2017, the United States of America (“USA”) requested consultations regarding several Canadian (BC) liquor directives:
- Policy Directive No. 15-01, issued by the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, re: Liquor Policy Review Recommendations #19 and 20: Phased-in Implementation of Liquor in Grocery Stores, dated February 26, 2015;
- BC Liquor Control and Licensing Act ([RSBC 1996] Chapter 267);
- C. Reg. 42/2015, deposited March 17, 2015, under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act [section 84] and the Liquor Control and Licensing Amendment Act, 2014 [section 48]. Order in Council 121/2015, approved and ordered March 16, 2015. The British Columbia Gazette, Part II, Volume 58, No. 6 (March 24, 2015);
- BC Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation, B.C. Reg. 244/2002, deposited August 12, 2002, O.C. 792/2002, effective December 2, 2002; and
- “Wine Store Terms and Conditions, A Guide for Liquor Licenses in British Columbia,” BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch publication, updated September 2015.
The USA is alleging that these measures appear to be inconsistent with Canada’s obligations under Article III:4 of the GATT 1994. Specifically, that foreign wine is accorded less favorable status than wine of Canadian origin.
For the full list of documents filed with the WTO, click here.
We will provide updates on this blog as consultations progress.
John Reiterowski, DS Lawyers Canada, LLP
DS Customs & Trade team located in Paris, Brussels, Montreal, Toronto, Lima, Singapore, Vietnam, Beijing, Guangzhou, Dakar and Cotonou is at your disposal to provide you with additional information.