CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council is applauding the latest steps aimed at implementing Canada's Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As the result of free trade agreements with the Republic of Korea and Canada's key competitors, including the US and the EU, the Canadian pork industry has been losing ground in that market since 2011.
Last week Canada's prime minister and South Korea's President witnessed the signature of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, says it is very important that this agreement is implemented as soon as possible.
Ron Davidson - Canadian Meat Council:
The agreement has to be ratified by the legislatures of both Canada and Korea. In the case of Canada we were very happy how quickly the government introduced the implementing legislation into Parliament.
That happened on Tuesday last week so in Canada's case we're very hopeful that this will be discussed and approved quickly by Parliament.
We understand that the Koreans also expect to move it ahead quickly. It depends how the Congress in Korea, how quickly it moves it, but we're very hopeful that it will all happen by 1 January so that we can be implementing the Canadian agreement at the same time as the American fourth cut in their agreement takes place.
We will be behind, we will be paying a higher tariff during the implementation phase than the US will but, by having the agreement implemented on January 1 of next year, we'll at least contain the disadvantage which we have.
Mr Davidson says it will take some time to level the playing field but once we have an agreement in place people will be able to predict what the future holds and Canada can begin competing again in that market.
ThePigSite News Desk