Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement Blitz Continues

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 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, across Canada, ministers and other members of Parliament continued to meet with workers and business representatives to see first-hand how the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will benefit their community. 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 Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, spent most of the day in southwestern Ontario, where he toured Baylis Medical Company, a leading supplier of high-technology cardiology, endovascular and oncology products based in Cooksville, to see how the medical devices sector will benefit from the Agreement. He also visited Dock Edge Inc. in Woodbridge to get an on-the-ground look at how plastics and hardware exports will gain from tariff elimination. Accompanied by Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, the Minister also toured Burlington’s Laker Energy Products Ltd., an important supplier to the energy sector that stands to benefit from improved access to the South Korean market.

Minister Fast, accompanied by Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Scarborough East, completed his day at an event at the Pickering City Council Chambers, where he discussed the benefits of the Agreement for some of Ontario’s key sectors, including aerospace, medical devices, clean technology, food manufacturing, information and communications technologies, life sciences and metals and minerals.

Elsewhere in Canada, many other events took place with ministers and other government representatives.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk and regional minister for southwestern Ontario, and Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, visited Conestoga Meat Packers in Breslau to see how Ontario’s agricultural exports to South Korea will gain from the removal of 86.8 percent of agricultural tariff lines under the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, stressed to the Toronto Region Board of Trade the important step Canada had taken with the conclusion of the Agreement, its first trade agreement with an Asian country.

The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism), spoke before the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties to highlight the gains for the province. He noted that South Korea is already Alberta’s fifth-largest export destination and that some of the province’s key sectors, such as agriculture and agri-food, forestry and value-added wood products, and industrial goods, will greatly benefit from the preferential access that will be granted under the Agreement.

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), delivered a keynote address to the Brandon Chamber of Commerce in Manitoba, noting that this agreement is part of the government’s efforts to create business opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs and small and medium-size enterprises.

Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for Durham, spoke at the First Agricultural Summit of the Clarington, Ontario, Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development. Mr. O’Toole highlighted how the new free trade agreement will help Canadian exporters, including those in the agricultural and agri-food sector.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • South Korea’s tariff elimination will be particularly advantageous for Canadian businesses, because average South Korean tariffs are three times higher than Canada’s (13.3 percent versus 4.3 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.


“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 to create jobs and opportunities across our country.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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