Early this month the Trump Administration announced a new free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. This new trade agreement replaces NAFTA with a new name “The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement” (USMCA) and includes significant changes to free trade between the three countries. Most importantly, this new trade deal results in trade doors remaining open for the American wine industry with our partner countries both to the North and South. There are many issues within the USMCA for wine that did not get resolved; however, one very significant issue did get resolved in this agreement that may be extremely beneficial for Washington wine sales; British Columbia grocery store shelves.
Contained within the new USMCA agreement is the removal of British Columbia’s discriminatory practice of only allowing BC wines on grocery store shelves. WWI, along with our partners in California and Oregon wine industries, and with the leadership of WineAmerica, pushed our Congressional leaders to have the United States take British Columbia to WTO court to resolve this issue. Assuming the USMCA trade agreement is ratified by all three countries, BC grocery store shelves will open up for non-BC wines on November 1, 2019.
To read the official letter of agreement between Canada on the United States on the “wine in B.C grocery stores” issue you can click here.