San Francisco — Wine Institute CEO, Robert P. “Bobby” Koch, issued the following statement today in response to the announcement that the United States, Canada and Mexico have completed negotiations on a new, modernized free trade agreement to succeed NAFTA. In the agreement, Canada has agreed to resolve the ongoing dispute regarding grocery store access in British Columbia by ensuring the discriminatory policies are removed by November 1st of next year.
“This agreement represents real progress towards improved market access for U.S. wines in Canada. In settling the U.S. WTO case, Canada has finally acknowledged that it must live up to its WTO obligations and that blatantly discriminatory policies cannot be tolerated. We still have much work to do in other areas of market access, but this is a significant accomplishment.”
“The inclusion of the alcohol annex is also a very positive step in our long-standing efforts to remove trade barriers and grow U.S. wine exports. We thank Ambassador Lighthizer and his entire team for their tireless efforts to secure these gains.”
Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses working at the state, national and international levels to support California wineries. Canada is the number one market for U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, which reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues and 380 million liters (42.2 million cases) in volume in 2017.