THE CANADIAN AGRI-FOOD SECTOR RECEIVED A BOOST WITH NEWS OF THE CANADA-KOREA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (CKFTA).
The deal, which has yet to be fully ratified, but once in force will result in the elimination of 86.8 per cent of agricultural tariff lines. Some tariffs will take more than a dozen years to be fully phased out. This duty-free access will give Canadian agricultural products, including beef, pork, canola and grains, preferential access to the Korean market and will put Canada on a level playing field with Korea’s current FTA (Free trade agreement) partners.
“This deal is especially important to Canada, with South Korea having already concluded Free Trade Agreements with the EU, Chile, Australia and the U.S.,” says Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association. “Until today we’ve been at a competitive disadvantage versus other oilseeds.”
The CKFTA will not affect Canada’s supply management system and its three key pillars: production control, import controls and price controls, which will remain intact. The CKFTA provides no additional market access, including no quota expansion and no reduction or elimination of over-access tariffs, for Korea’s dairy, poultry and eggs.