Ontario Businesses and Workers Ready to Benefit from the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Minister Fast says deeper trade with South Korea, a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, will create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country

March 18, 2014 - Burlington, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, today toured Laker Energy Products Ltd., which has been supplying nuclear-grade pipe, tubing, fittings, fasteners and other pressure-retaining components to the nuclear power industry since 1995, to see first-hand how the industrial goods sector will benefit from the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Last 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 Ontario exports more competitive in the South Korean market by levelling the playing field for workers and businesses competing against exporters from countries that already have preferential access. The Agreement will significantly improve market access opportunities for Ontario’s industrial goods sector by eliminating tariffs on all Canadian exports of industrial goods.

From 2010 to 2012, Ontario’s exports of industrial goods to South Korea were worth an annual average of $470.6 million. The duty-free access obtained under the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will give Canadian industrial products preferential access to the South Korean market and will create a level playing field on which Canadian producers can compete with South Korea’s current free trade agreement partners.

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 but also a gateway for Canadian businesses into the Asia-Pacific region.

Quick Facts

  • When the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement enters into force, duties on over 95 percent of South Korean tariff lines for industrial products will be eliminated immediately.
  • Ontario businesses stand to gain considerably when all South Korean tariffs on industrial goods are eliminated within 10 years.
  • 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.
  • 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

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will tap into unrealized potential, particularly in the industrial goods sector in Ontario. Our government is committed to expanding trade with new and emerging markets in Asia to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and industries across the country. We fully understand that, when Canadian companies succeed abroad, all Canadians benefit from the jobs and opportunities that are created at home.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will have positive effects across Canada and will help keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. The Agreement will help companies like Laker Energy Products compete on a level playing field and create jobs and opportunities for workers right here in Burlington.”

- Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington

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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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