Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Canada - Korea FTA concluded

Well, that took awhile:
Negotiations with Canada were the longest ever for an FTA by Korea. Initial talks began in July 2005, followed by 13 rounds through March 2008. Negotiations were halted in April 2009 after Canada challenged Korea’s ban on imports of Canadian beef six years earlier at the World Trade Organization. Korea instituted the ban in 2003 after an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease.
Korea resumed Canadian beef imports in January 2012, and the trade talks resumed last November. Korea was the last major Asian market to lift its ban. Under the accord reached yesterday, Korea will reduce tariffs on Canadian beef over 15 years.

Canada will eliminate a 6.1 percent tariff on Korean automobiles within two years of the deal being ratified, compared to the five years in Korea’s FTA with the United States, which went into effect in 2012.

Korean automakers had a combined 12 percent share of the Canadian automobile market last year versus 34 percent for Japanese and 45 percent for Americans, and automobiles accounted for 42.8 percent of Korea’s exports to Canada in the same year.

Tariffs on textile machinery, a large export item from Korea, will be removed over five years. Within two years Canada will also remove most of its tariffs on clothing and textile products, which now stand at 18 percent at the maximum.[...]

Bilateral trade volume tallied $9.9 billion last year, and Canada was Korea’s 23rd largest export partner.
According to the Canadian government,
the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is projected to create thousands of jobs for hardworking Canadians by boosting Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent.
I love the addition of 'hardworking' above. An article announcing Harper's visit gave this information:
Diplomatic ties between South Korea and Canada were established in 1963. Approximately 230,000 South Korean nationals reside in Canada. 
That's more than ten times the number of Canadians who live here (half of whom are Korean Canadian).

I could only think when I heard about the Prime Minister's visit that the embassy staff here must have been pretty damned busy preparing for it...

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