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On March 6, 2014 the provincial government of British Columbia outlined a two-part model for liquor sales in grocery stores. First, the "store-within-a-store" model will apply to private liquor licences that are transferred into or sold to a grocery store, as well as to government liquor licences that are transferred into grocery stores. A second model will provide for a limited number of new licences that sell wine in grocery stores. Under this model, wine will be allowed to be sold off designated shelves within the store, and purchased at designated check-out tills. Wine producers in other countries then raised questions over the exclusion of imports from these sales. According to press reports, representatives from British Columbia and the United States met July 7, 2016 to discuss concerns raised in an April 29, 2016 letter signed by the United States, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, and the European Union. The signatories argued that by limiting supermarket sales of wine to the provincial product, British Columbia has violated commitments under World Trade Organization. 'Accordingly, we request that British Columbia amend the relevant regulations in order to ensure that the sale of wine in grocery stores is permitted on a non-discriminatory basis.'The consultations have not yet resulted in any changes to the provincial policies.
On May 25, 2018 the United States brought a formal complaint against Canada in the WTO on this matter.
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