Spirits Canada Welcomes Government Request to Join Colombia WTO Dispute
TORONTO, CANADA, January 29, 2016. Spirits Canada strongly supports the Government of Canada’s request to join the WTO consultations between the European Union and Colombia regarding discriminatory practices against imported spirits like Canadian Whisky.
On January 13, 2016, the EU requested consultations with the Government of Colombia under the World Trading Organization (WTO) regarding a number of tax and regulatory measures that discriminate against imported spirits.
If the EU and Colombia allow Canada to join the consultations, Canada will be able to ensure Canadian export interests are represented in the discussions and in any formal dispute.
“We are hopeful that consultations at the WTO will result in the Government of Colombia implementing reforms to their beverage alcohol excise and regulations, reforms promised under the 2011 Canada – Colombia free trade agreement”, said Jan Westcott, President & CEO of Spirits Canada.
Canadian Whisky exports to Colombia face higher tax rates and fees than locally produced competing spirits, as well as market access restrictions not imposed on domestic products.
“We applaud Minister Freeland’s decision to request joining the consultations in Geneva and to help ensure our trading partners fulfill their trade commitments to Canada and allow us to compete on a level playing field”, said Mr. Westcott.
Spirits Canada is the only national trade organization representing the interests of Canadian Spirits manufacturers and exporters. Canadian Spirits producers source locally-grown cereal grains, including barley, corn, rye and wheat, and transform these into high-value consumer branded adult beverage enjoyed around the world. Under Canadian law, all Canadian Whiskies are fermented, mashed, distilled and aged in Canada, supporting employment, investment and wealth creation across the nation.