Winnipeg, Manitoba -- The governments of Canada and South Korea came together yesterday to sign the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), bringing Canadian canola farmers one step closer to improved access in the growing South Korean consumer market.
Initially announced in March 2014, the agreement was signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Korean President Park Geun-hye in Ottawa on Monday.
“The signing of this agreement is great news for canola farmers,” says Rick White, CEO of Canadian Canola Growers Association. “Once fully implemented, this agreement will position Canadian canola products, including seed and oil, on similar tariff terms with our oilseed competitors including the U.S. and Australia.”
Under the CKFTA, South Korea will eliminate the 5 percent 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 White.
“The efforts of the Government of Canada in concluding and signing this trade agreement have been essential, but the work is not yet done,” says White. “Farmers are anxious to capitalize on the opportunities this agreement presents. We call on all Parliamentarians to support the work that remains so the CKFTA agreement can be passed into law by January 2015.”
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.