Korea FTA tabled in Parliament

Calgary, AB - The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) welcomes the tabling in Parliament today of the text of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This represents an important milestone on the path towards implementation of the agreement.

CCA Vice President and Foreign Trade Chair, Dan Darling, lauded the Government of Canada’s efforts to get the Canada-Korea FTA implemented in time to avoid the U.S. gaining another year’s tariff reduction ahead of Canada. “It is critical for the Canadian beef sector that the agreement be implemented by January 1 or earlier so that we can keep pace with our U.S. and Australian competitors,” Darling said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the 40 per cent Korean tariff on fresh and frozen beef will be fully eliminated in 15 equal annual steps and the 18 per cent tariff on offals will be fully eliminated in 11 equal annual steps.

Since the U.S. implemented its own FTA with Korea in 2012, it has enjoyed an increasing tariff advantage on beef exports. Australia also reached a FTA with Korea in December 2013 and is working to implement it as soon as possible.

In 2002, Korea was a $40 million market for Canadian beef and its fourth largest export destination. In 2013, with a growing tariff disadvantage relative to U.S. beef, Canada exported $7.8 million. The Canada-Korea FTA signals to Korean buyers that they can resume their relationship with Canadian beef and maintain a long-term competitive position.

The ability to get every piece of the animal to the highest value market is what maximizes the price that farmers receive for their cattle. In particular, the aggressive phase-out for Canadian offal exports to Korea will enable us to derive more value in Korea for those items than they command in North America.

“Tabling the text of the agreement in Parliament will allow the CCA and all Canadians to fully examine its provisions,” said Darling. “The next step will be for the Government to introduce an implementation bill in Parliament for passage before the end of the year and for the Koreans to do likewise.”

The CCA thanks Prime Minister Harper, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for their efforts and encourages all Parties to work cooperatively to move forward on timely implementation of this agreement.

For further information, contact:
Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306
403-875-3616 (Cell) | teelg@cattle.ca