January 19,2017

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (Wyden) (202) 224-4515

Kerry Arndt (Murray) (202) 224-2834

Wyden, Murray Praise USTR Decision to Challenge Discriminatory Rules Regarding Sale of American Wine in British Columbia

WASHINGTON Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., today applauded a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative to challenge rules that discriminate against selling American wines in British Columbia.

“The blatantly discriminatory barriers American winegrowers face right next door in Canada keep them from competing fairly in one of their most important export markets,” Wyden said.  “These measures stand in the way of what has otherwise been a tremendous success story for American exports that has reinvigorated rural communities across America, including in Oregon.  I commend the Administration for keeping up the fight for tough trade enforcement, including for America’s rural communities, even as it enters its final hours.”

“The rapidly growing wine industry is a key part of Washington state’s agricultural economy. Washington winemakers have the potential to continue this strong growth, but right now, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to reaching consumers right across the border in Canada, the largest foreign market for our wine,” said Murray. “I strongly support USTR’s challenge to British Columbia’s regulation in order to allow fair competition for the high-quality wine being produced in the Northwest and across the country.”

Senators Wyden and Murray wrote to USTR Froman in May urging him to address the British Columbia measures, which only allow sales of British Columbia wine on grocery store shelves.  Imported wine and other non-British Columbia wine cannot be sold on regular store shelves, but rather may only be sold in a “store-within-a-store” with controlled access and separate cash registers.  The measure gives British Columbia wine producers an unfair advantage over American producers selling in Canada, the largest foreign market for American wines.