Call for Speedy Implementation of Canada-South Korea Trade Agreement

CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council is hoping for implementation of the new Canada South Korea Free Trade Agreement by 1 January 2015, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 May 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

In March Canada concluded a free trade agreement with South Korea that will phase out tariffs on Canadian pork and beef entering that market but the deal still must be ratified by the two governments.

Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, notes while negotiations between Canada and South Korea had been stalled other nations reached deals of their own giving them a head start on the tariff reductions.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council

In the case of beef the import tariff is 40 per cent and that is being phased out for the US and for Canada now, when we get the agreement in place, over 15 years.

In the case of pork it was 22 and a half per cent for chilled and 25 per cent for frozen.

For chilled pork it'll be phased out over 13 years and for frozen essentially over five years.

They're being cut more or less on an equivalent basis each year so each year that we that fall behind our competitors in access to that market it becomes increasingly difficult for us to sell so it's critical that we not fall further behind.

If we don't get it in place by 1 January the fall back position is as soon as possible thereafter and in any case that the second cut would come into place for us at the same time the next cut for the Americans is, which is 1 January 2016.

So we're already behind in competitive access to that market.

The schedule will keep us behind during the implementation period.

But the problem was that every year we miss, we get even further behind in our competitiveness.

Mr Davidson applauds the efforts of government and the direct involvement of the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Agriculture and Trade in concluding this deal and he hopes, working with their Korean colleagues, they'll have it in place by the start of next year.

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