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

Parliamentary Secretary O’Toole says deeper trade with South Korea, a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, will create new jobs and opportunities in Ontario

March 19, 2014 - Port Hope, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, and Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West, today held an event at Viceroy Homes in Port Hope, Ontario, to highlight the many benefits the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to businesses and workers in Ontario. In business for over 55 years, Viceroy Homes is a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom wood frame homes. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea announced that their countries had concluded 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 Ontario businesses that are competing against exporters from countries that already have preferential access. Ontario stands to benefit significantly from preferred access to the South Korean market.

By value, Canada is the world’s leading exporter of newsprint and wood pulp and the fifth-largest exporter of wood panels. In 2012, the forestry and value-added wood products sector contributed $20.2 billion to Canada’s GDP.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will provide a significant advantage for Canadian wood and forestry producers and exporters looking to expand market opportunities in South Korea. South Korean wood tariff lines have significant duties, as high as 10 percent, which present a competitive disadvantage for Canadian exporters.

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

  • Canada exported $503.8-million worth of forestry and value-added wood products to South Korea in 2012, representing 13.8 percent of Canada’s total exports to that country.
  • Canadian wood exports to South Korea were worth an average of $171.1 million annually between 2010 and 2012.
  • In 2012, South Korea ranked fourth as an export destination for Canadian wood products, and in the same year the country’s overall imports of wood products were worth $2.5 billion.
  • 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

“Canada stands 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 forestry and value-added wood products sector in Ontario.”

Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring positive results to businesses at both the local and national levels. This agreement will help companies such as Viceroy Homes in Port Hope compete on a level playing field and create new jobs and secure opportunities throughout the riding of Northumberland-Quinte West.”

Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West

“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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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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