New Zealand objects to Canada favouring local wines
New Zealand has followed Australia’s lead in joining a World Trade Organisation complaint against Canada protecting local wines over imports.
In the Province of British Columbia (BC) only BC wines can be sold on normal grocery shelves, while sales of imports are restricted to “a so-called store within a store”.
The NZD $7 billion Canadian market is New Zealand’s fourth largest wine customer with sales to June 2017 of NZD $107 million. A level playing field could greatly boost wine sales to Canada.
While it is frustrating for New Zealand’s wine exporters to be the victims of protectionism, there is evidence to suggest that Canadian producers will suffer rather than benefit from an artificial trade barrier in the long term. Trade subsidies are, in my view, like a drug that gives short-term relief but ultimately results in dependence and reduced competitiveness.