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WTO to investigate restrictions on US wine to Canada

July 20, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Some good news for Washington’s wine industry.

The World Trade Organization on Friday agreed to investigate the U.S. Trade Representative’s complaint over Canada’s retail wine sale restrictions.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., says regulations in Canada currently ban imported wines from store shelves in British Columbia. But if the U.S. prevails in this dispute, Canada will have to roll back its restrictions.

The U.S. and Canada will next name experts to a dispute resolution panel. The process may take a year or more.

With more than $10 million in exports in 2017, Canada is Washington state’s number one export market for wine. Washington has more than 900 wineries, and generates $1.8 billion in revenue.

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