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View Tony Baldinelli Profile
CPC (ON)
View Tony Baldinelli Profile
2020-04-20 14:03 [p.2183]
Mr. Speaker, while the government's response to COVID-19 has demanded much of Parliament's attention, as it so deserves, we need to remember there are other important issues playing on in the background that also deserve Parliament's attention.
In my riding, one of these is Australia's World Trade Organization challenge against the excise tax exemption for 100% Canadian-made wines. This challenge was a major threat to our domestic wine industry before COVID-19. It is an even bigger threat now as the impacts against our wine industry could be compounded if a ruling is made this summer in Australia's favour. If that happens, our Canadian wine industry will be devastated. More than 700 wineries and 9,000 Canadian jobs are at stake.
While we are focused on responding to COVID-19 and flattening the curve, the countdown to the WTO ruling on this case continues and it requires Parliament's attention. Should the WTO rule against Canada, I sincerely hope the government will act soon to establish a trade-legal program of equal or greater value to replace the existing excise tax exemption. Our Canadian wineries need the support. I am proud to stand in the House today and bring attention to this most important matter.
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