Harper Government Highlights Benefits to Saskatchewan of Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Minister Ritz says deeper trade with South Korea, a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, will create new jobs and opportunities across Saskatchewan

March 14, 2014 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today held an event in Saskatoon to highlight the many benefits the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to businesses and workers in Saskatchewan. Minister Ritz also announced his intention to lead a large delegation of agriculture groups on a trade mission to South Korea next month. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea announced the conclusion of negotiations on this new free trade agreement.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will make Canadian exports more competitive in the South Korean market by levelling the playing field for Saskatchewan businesses that are competing against exporters from countries that already have preferential access. Saskatchewan stands to benefit significantly from preferred access to the South Korean market.

Saskatchewan’s agricultural exports to South Korea were worth an annual average of $149.5 million from 2010 to 2012, and were led by wheat, canola oil, un-roasted barley malt, animal feed, rye and pork.  The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will eliminate tariffs on 86.8 percent of agricultural tariff lines, including rates of up to 30 percent on pork and pork products.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is a landmark achievement: it is Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in the world. South Korea is not only a major economic player and a key market for Canada; it also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses into the Asia-Pacific region.

Quick Facts

  • Canadian agricultural exports to South Korea currently face high tariff rates, which averaged 52.7 percent in 2012.
  • South Korea is an important economic partner for Canada, with an economy of $1.1 trillion and a population of 50 million.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is projected to boost Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent.
  • On the day the agreement comes into force, Canadian businesses will immediately benefit from South Korea’s removal of duties on 81.9 percent of tariff lines. Once the agreement is fully implemented, South Korea will have removed duties on 98.2 percent of tariff lines.
  • Canadian businesses will benefit from the same access to the South Korean market as their competitors, notably those from the United States and the European Union.

Quotes

“Both Canada and Saskatchewan stand to prosper by being well positioned in Asia. This trade agreement will tap unrealized potential and create jobs and opportunities for our businesses and workers, particularly in the agriculture sector here in Saskatchewan.”

Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Our government is committed to expanding trade with new and emerging markets in Asia to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and industries across the country. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement demonstrates our commitment to giving Canadian investors and exporters the tools they need to compete—and win—in the global marketplace.”

Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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Contacts

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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