Return of Canadian beef to Korea a win for Canadian cattle producers

Calgary, AB – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) congratulates the Government of Canada on its achievement of restoring market access for Canadian beef in South Korea.

The process to restore access for Canadian beef agreed to last June by the Canadian and South Korean governments has been successfully completed with the final approval letters from Korea received on January 20, 2012. With the receipt of these letters, Canadian beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age can be exported to Korea immediately. The agreement was reached outside of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute launched by Canada in 2009.

CCA President Travis Toews thanked Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast for their diligence on this file. Efforts are expected to continue in South Korea to recapture access for over-30-month beef as well, in line with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) science-based guidelines.

“The return of safe, high-quality Canadian beef to South Korea after nearly a decade is a significant achievement and one that’s been a long time coming,” Toews said.

“The CCA agreed to this process as an alternate solution to the WTO Dispute Panel report in order to get Canadian beef moving into South Korea more quickly. It was the right call and we thank Ministers Ritz and Fast for seeing this to a successful conclusion.”

The CCA monitored South Korea’s progress closely and was fully prepared to recommend the Government of Canada to request the WTO to issue its report should the process fail. Canada retains the ability to resume the Panel should problems with the implementation emerge in the weeks ahead, but we expect that South Korea will resume its former position as a lucrative market for Canadian beef. Canadian beef exports are estimated to be $30 million to Korea by 2015.

With Canadian beef once again headed for South Korea, the CCA is focussed on completing negotiations to establish a Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

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