Calgary, AB - Representatives of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and Canada Beef Inc. are today heading home after the conclusion of a week-long trade mission to Korea and Japan led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz.
CCA Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft and Canada Beef Inc. President Rob Meijer participated in the mission to promote Canadian beef to many important Korean and Japanese beef importers. “The Korean beef importers share our eagerness to implement the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement so that the current 40 per cent tariff on Canadian beef can begin to be phased out and keep pace with the tariff preference already applicable to U.S. beef,” said Laycraft.
Korea was once a $40 to $50 million per year market for Canadian beef, but has hovered around $7 to $10 million per year since the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was implemented and a tariff disadvantage to importers of Canadian beef was created. Today that disadvantage is eight per cent and will grow wider if the Canada-Korea FTA is not implemented quickly. With a Canada-Korea FTA in place, shipments of Canadian beef are expected to eventually regain and even surpass their previous level.
In Japan, the beef importers have been very pleased that they have been able to secure year round supply of Canadian beef since the age restriction was lifted from 21 to 30 months a year ago. However, the combination of the 38.5 per cent tariff and safeguard trigger (tariff increases to 50% if imports increase beyond a set formula) have dampened Japanese importers’ ability to significantly increase their purchases of Canadian beef. The CCA’s objective is that Canada negotiate the elimination of both the tariff and the safeguard trigger in either the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or in a bilateral agreement between Canada and Japan.
For further information, contact:
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306