Langley, BC– Today, Langley Member of Parliament Mark Warawa commends the Government of Canada on concluding negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea. This agreement will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two countries, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country, especially British Columbia.
“Our Government recognizes the importance of opening new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment which is why we launched the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history,” said the Langley MP. “The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create jobs and open the door to the lucrative Asia-Pacific market for Canadian businesses. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement not only reflects the input of all sectors of the economy, provinces and territories, it will deliver significant benefits for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”
The Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first with an Asian market, will create thousands of new jobs in Canada and provide Canadian businesses and workers with a gateway to Asia, enhancing their global competitiveness. It will also level the playing field for Canadian companies competing with Korea’s other trading partners, including the United States and the European Union, who already have free trade agreements with Korea.
Canadian consumers will benefit from a greater variety of goods at lower prices, as the Free Trade Agreement will cover virtually all aspects of Canadian-Korean trade: goods and services, investment, government procurement, environment and labour cooperation, and other areas of economic activity.
The Agreement eliminates tariffs and reduces non-tariff measures that hinder market access for Canadian exporters and investors in Korea, bringing transparency and predictability to the business environment. Once the Agreement is fully implemented, Korea will remove duties on 98.2 per cent of its tariff lines, covering virtually all of Canada’s imports.
Canada – Republic of Korea Quick Facts
- Korea is a key market for Canada – it is the world’s 15th-largest economy (GDP of $1.1 trillion), and the fourth-largest in Asia, with a population of 50 million people.
- Korea is already Canada’s seventh-largest merchandise trading partner and its third-largest in Asia (after China and Japan). Total merchandise trade between the two countries reached approximately $10.1 billion in 2012.
- Tariff elimination will be particularly advantageous for Canadian businesses, as average Korean tariffs are three times higher than Canada’s.
- The U.S. and the EU already enjoy free trade agreements with Korea. The CKFTA will level the playing field for Canadian exporters and investors.
Creating jobs and opportunities for British Columbians
“British Columbia stands to benefit significantly from preferred access to the South Korean market,” said Warawa. “South Korea is already British Columbia’s fourth-largest trading partner and export destination—in fact, 50 percent of all Canadian exports to South Korea are from British Colombia. B.C.’s exports to South Korea from 2010 to 2012 were worth an annual average of $2.18 billion.”
Upon entry into force, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will eliminate tariffs on almost all of British Columbia’s key exports and provide access to new opportunities in the South Korean market. Exporters in these sectors will also benefit from other Agreement provisions that will improve conditions for exports— provisions, for example, that ease regulatory barriers, reduce or eliminate other non-tariff measures, reinforce intellectual property rights and ensure more transparent rules for market access.
Top benefits for British Columbia:
- duty-free access for forestry and value-added wood products, including lumber, plywood, particle board and oriented strand board;
- duty-free access for fish and seafood, including salmon and Dungeness crab and other shellfish;
- duty-free market access for most agricultural and agri-food products, including icewine, cherries and berries;
- improved access for professional services;
- predictable, non-discriminatory rules for Canadian investors;
- improved access to South Korea’s government procurement market;
- strong provisions on non-tariff measures, backed up by fast and effective dispute settlement
Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) Summary