The European Union has asked the World Trade Organization to rule that Canadian taxes on imported wine and beer illegally discriminate against alcohol from Europe because Canada is getting rid of duties on its own beverages.
Canada’s parliament is considering legislation that will end government taxes on beer and wine made from domestically grown grains or grapes while leaving duties for imports in place. The system has been applied since July on a provisional basis and violates WTO rules that forbid discrimination against foreign products once they are in a domestic market, the European Commission said.
“This measure is unfair and I urge Canada to end this discrimination against our products,” said EU Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel. “European wines and beers are second to none. We can compete with anyone as long as we have a level playing field on which to operate.”