Canadian Pork Producers Call for Free Trade Deal with Korea

CANADA - Canadian pork producers are urging Ottawa to step up negotiations aimed at achieving a free trade agreement with Korea after the announcement of such an agreement between Korea and the United States, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 April 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

A free trade agreement announced late last month between the United States and Korea will see the elimination of tariffs over ten years on U.S. pork entering Korea.

Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says, while the deal still must be approved by the U.S. Congress, Canadian Pork producers consider it essential that Canada not be allowed to fall behind the United States in terms of having a trade agreement with Korea.

Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council

In 2006 Korea was Canada's fifth most important market for pork in terms of the dollar value of our exports.

It was 133 million dollars of product and that was up by almost six times compared to the 2003 exports.

So it is a very rapidly growing market but we are not alone in that market.

In fact the United States has replaced us as the number one exporter to Korea.

We would look at that situation becoming even more favorable to the United States if the United States does have its agreement put into place and Canada does not have one.

The reason is that the very high tariffs on pork going into Korea would be progressively reduced for the United States but left the same as they are for Canada and we would find ourselves being displaced as a favored supplier.

Rice hopes the U.S. agreement with Korea will help pave the way to a similar trade deal with Canada in terms of both timing and in the reduction of barriers to trade.

He notes the tariffs on pork are significant, ranging anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent, including a 25 percent tariff on fresh frozen cuts and a 22.5 percent tariff on fresh chilled pork.

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