March 11, 2014

Trade deal with South Korea will broaden markets for Canadian farmers

OTTAWA, March 11, 2014 – The Grain Growers of Canada today congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper for concluding negotiations on the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).

“South Korea is a valuable market for Canadian farmers,” said Gary Stanford, Grain Growers of Canada President, from Singapore. “Grain Growers has supported the trade negotiations from the beginning, as we see significant gains in export sales opportunities for grains and oilseeds producers and a boost for the overall economy.”

With tariffs for agricultural exports to South Korea currently averaging over 52%, this trade deal will lead to expanded trade of wheat, grains, oilseeds and pulses, while also providing a much needed boost to Canada’s pork and beef exports.

“Grain Growers members strongly support an aggressive free trade agenda, and we commend the work of the Federal Government in negotiating this agreement with South Korea,” said Michael Delaney, Grain Growers of Canada Director, who was also pleased to see increased market access for pork and beef producers. “Any gains made by the livestock industry is good news for Canadian grain farmers and the value added feed industry, and helps us make headway in re-gaining market share being lost to the United States and other competitors.”

The CKFTA will result in the elimination of tariffs on 86.8% of agricultural tariff lines. This will give Canadian agricultural products preferential access to the South Korean market, placing us on a level playing field with South Korea’s current trade partners, such as the United States and the European Union.

“This Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will greatly enhance farmers’ market access in South Korea and opens the door to further opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region,” concluded Stanford. “We urge the Government of Canada and Parliament to implement the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement as quickly as possible.”

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