Canada faces Australian wine sales complaint

The federal government has tried to pressure Canada into stocking Australian wines in supermarkets

Canberra said the measures by several provinces hurt trade with Australia's fourth-largest export market for wine, valued at Aus$185 million (RM585.5 million).

A trade dispute between Australia and Canada over Aussie wine exports has taken a new turn, with the Turnbull government filing a complaint with the World Trade Organisation over what it says are "disadvantageous restrictions" of the sale of imported wine in Canada.

"The government works closely with all provinces and territories to ensure their liquor distribution and sales policies are consistent with our global trade commitments and will continue to give careful consideration to a request for consultations from any WTO member", said Natasha Nystrom in an email to CBC News.

Speaking to ABC Radio earlier today Ciobo said that this was not related to the Canadian Prime Minister's snub of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations at the APEC Summit in Vietnam past year.

But Ciobo said the Australian complaint was unrelated to Trudeau's actions at the summit, although he conceded it was "disappointing" the Canadian leader did not sign up to an agreement on the TPP, which now involves 11 countries after the United States withdrew previous year. China was the largest market for the export of Vietnamese tra fish products, while the USA ranked second.

"I want to make sure we're on the front foot about protecting Australia's interests".

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The move has been welcomed by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA), with Chief Executive, Tony Battaglene, saying that the action was the first formal step in seeking to resolve long-standing Canadian measures that discriminate against Australian wine imports.

WATCH ABOVE: What's so special about Australian wine?

Despite a growth in sales to China, now the top export destination, and to Hong Kong, Australian wine sales overall fell from $2.5 billion in 2007 to $1.7 billion in 2016.

"Wine sales in Canada are controlled by provincial liquor boards". The Quebec wine measures provide Quebec small-scale wine producers with direct access to grocery and convenience stores. "We are delighted the Australian Government has made a decision to take action over these issues and the winners will be Australian producers and Canadian consumers".

Australia has seen exports of bottled wine to Canada nearly halved between 2007 and 2016, although sales to Britain and the United States, once its top export markets, have fallen by even more.

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