This is going to make it even more difficult. As people have alluded to, we're facing a series of challenges on the trade front and on the internal agreement. As you said, alcohol is left out. We're seeing an increasing balkanization of the country. You have to remember that, as Canadian businesses, we need a strong, vibrant, domestic market, because the people who we're competing with come from much larger companies, which gives them huge economies of scale and opportunities. If we can't have free trade inside Canada, we're shooting ourselves in the foot.
We're optimistic. We hope that the structure that's been set up to look at alcohol will pay some dividends, but at the moment it's getting worse and worse as the country continues to put barriers in place to products from one province to another province.
We're starting to see the emergence of small distillers. That's a great thing, right? Innovation, as you say, economic development and investment, by those small players, is a great thing. It doesn't matter whether they're a vinery, a brewery, or a distillery, because they will be the hardest hit by government reaching in and taking the money first. So, as I said, we are contending with all different kinds of challenges right now.
We have been big supporters of CETA. This is happening on the eve of CETA, which is critically important to Canada, because it is the first time that Canada will have a distinct tariff advantage over the United States in a huge market. So here we are going into this, trying to finalize this when some are balking about it in Europe, and we're likely going to have a trade fight because of it, and you could not have worse timing. There are a number of factors that we're all trying to contend with. Stripping investment out of the business—it doesn't matter which one—is going to be extremely counterproductive.
As I said, we had this experience in the 1980s. Before we had indexation in the 1980s, Canada was the second-largest producer and supplier of whisky to the world—second only to scotch. That last decade of the eighties is when we took our eye off the international market and stopped investing, and we're now number four and are becoming a distant fourth. More pressure on us isn't going to turn this around.