Pork Producers Expected to Benefit from Canada-South Korea FTA

CANADA - The director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council expects adoption of the Canada-South Korea free trade agreement to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Canada's pork industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 August 2014
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In June the federal government tabled the text of the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement in the House of Commons, opening the door for possible adoption by January 1st.

Mr Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, notes in terms of tariff reductions Canada has fallen behind nations that already have free trade agreements with South Korea and falls further behind each year.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:

South Korea is a very important market for foreign exporters of food because they have about 50 million people, they're relatively comparatively middle income, high income and they import a lot of food.

It has been an important market in the past worth hundreds of millions of dollars to our pork producers and at one point, before we had our BSE issues, it was also a major market for beef.

We were just beginning to recover that market when we became disadvantaged by the agreements that other countries including the European Union and the United States signed with South Korea, so we have been losing market share quickly.

Particularly since the US signed its agreement, so we are losing between 100 and 200 million dollars in sales a year now into that market.

So we just hope to have the Canada-South Korea agreement approved as quickly as possible so we can begin the process of trying to recover ourselves there.

Mr Davidson notes, when the Canadian Meat Council was pressing for the agreement to be finalized, pork sales of about 300 million dollars a year were projected but now, with the higher value of pork that number could be even higher.

Charlotte Rowney

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