Winnipeg, Manitoba -- Canola farmers will soon benefit from improved access to the growing South Korean consumer market. The governments of Canada and South Korea have completed the final steps to bring the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) into law, with an implementation date of January 1, 2015.
The announcement that the agreement had received royal assent in Canada and had passed in the South Korean National Assembly was made by the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade earlier today in Ottawa.
“We applaud parliament for their cooperation in bringing this agreement to implementation,” says Brett Halstead, President of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “Farmers have been waiting anxiously to capitalize on CKFTA’s opportunities. Canadian canola products, including seed and oil, will now be on similar tariff terms with our oilseed competitors including the U.S. and Australia.”
Under the CKFTA, South Korea will eliminate the five per cent tariff applied to canola seed. It will also see tariffs on refined canola oil and crude oil tariffs removed within three and seven years, respectively. Today, South Korea imports of Canadian canola seed and oil are valued at $60-90 million annually.
“Under the agreement, those export numbers could grow substantially,” says Rick White, CEO of CCGA.
“It’s also encouraging to see Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, with other trade files including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement still under negotiation. These agreements will improve market access even further for our farmers.”
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.
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Kelly Green, Director of Communications