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EU to file WTO complaint against Canadian beer, wine taxes

The European Union will ask the World Trade Organization to rule that Canadian taxes on its wine and beer illegally discriminate against alcohol from the bloc because Canada scrapped its own duties seven months ago.

Canada ended government taxes on domestic alcohol on May 2 while leaving taxes on imports in place, said the European Commission, the EU's executive body. That contravenes WTO rules that forbid discrimination against foreign products once they are in a domestic market, the EU says. “European wines and beers are second to none,” European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said in a statement issued in Brussels today. “We can compete with anyone as long as we have a level playing field on which to operate. This measure is unfair and I urge Canada to end this discrimination against our products.” (Bloomberg)