Lack of FTA Impedes Canadian Pork Exports to Korea

by 5m Editor
17 August 2011, at 10:44am

CANADA - Canada Pork International says the lack of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea is prompting pork importers in that nation to favour products from Canada's competotors, Bruce Cochrane writes.

While free trade negotiations between Canada and the Republic of Korea have been stalled since 2008 Canada's major competitors in the pork industry have negotiated free trade agreements under which duties on their pork will be phased out over ten years.

Canada Pork International president Jacques Pomerleau says the foot and mouth disease outbreak in South Korea has prompted a suspension of all import duties on pork resulting in a substantial increase in Canadian pork exports to that nation but that suspension will only be temporary.

Jacques Pomerleau-Canada Pork International

Because of the foot and mouth situation they had to eliminate more than one third of their herd so Korea is importing more than they ever did in the past.

While Canada three years ago was the leading supplier of pork to Korea now we are second way far behind the United States, that have doubled the amount that we've exported to South Korea during that period.

At the same time, since the European Union and Korea free trade agreement got into effect on 1 July, you've seen a major progression from the European supliers to the point now that among the leading suppliers we are the one that has the smallest increase in terms of market share.

Mr Pomerleau says in the short term Canada should see increased exports from Canada to South Korea but as soon as their own production returns to normal, Canadian producers will be at a disadvantage because the European Union's free trade agrrement, implemented on 1 July, will result in duties droping by 2.5 per cent per year over the next ten years and the United States has only to ratify its free trade agrrement.

He says the trade in South Korea is warning that without a free trade agreement soon Canada will be out of that market in the next two to three years.