Call for Resumption of South Korean Free Trade Talks

by 5m Editor
18 January 2011, at 8:31am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Industry is calling on the federal government to resume free trade talks with the Republic of Korea, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Republic of Korea has free trade agreements in place with several nations including Chile, the European free trade area and several southeast Asian countries and agreements with the United States and the European Union are awaiting ratification.

Meanwhile free trade negotiations between Canada and South Korea that began in 2005 have been stalled since about 2008.

Canadian Pork Council public relations manager Gary Stordy says the longer Canada waits the further behind it will when it comes to the reduction of tariffs charged on Canadian pork entering the country.

Gary Stordy-Canadian Pork Council

Bear in mind, when it comes to South Korea, that's our fourth largest market that we export to so it's a very important market.

South Korea enjoys consuming pork, that's one of their proteins of choice and we export shoulders, bellies.

These products have a high value that certainly help out with our commodity price.

We enjoy competing on a level playing field.

When our product is going into that market and competing with the other countries, because our tariffs are very similar, we do not necessarily worry about losing any market share.

But now that the United States and EU have a free trade agreement, over the next number of years the tariff that they pay is going to be decreasing while the Canadian tariff charged on pork coming from Canada into South Korea will remain the same, will remain unchanged.

That places our exporters who have markets in South Korea at a disadvantage compared to other importers of pork into that country.

Mr Stordy notes, even now, customers in South Korea are looking to create strategic alliances with processors in countries that have free trade agreements in place or that are being finalised so its critical for the Canadian government to reopen free trade negotiations with South Korea.

Further Reading

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