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Canada Confirms South Korean FTA Terms

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

16 June 2014

The Canadian Government has tabled the final text of its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea. Upon its entry into force, South Korea will immediately remove duties on 81.9 percent of tariff lines.

Canada's International Trade Minister Ed Fast tabled the text in the House of Commons. He said: "The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada's first with an Asia-Pacific 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, which already have free trade agreements."

Negotiations were concluded in March. The deal is expected to boost Canada's economy by CAD1.7bn (USD1.6bn) and increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32 percent.

Once fully implemented, South Korea will have eliminated duties on 98.2 percent of tariff lines. Average tariffs are three times higher in South Korea than in Canada, at 13.3 percent compared with 4.3 percent.

Fast said the Government is "committed to working as expeditiously as possible through the remaining steps toward implementing the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement so that Canadian workers and businesses can access the full range of benefits and opportunities as soon as possible. Today's tabling is an important step toward delivering on our government's most ambitious pro-trade plan to create jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians in every region of the country."

South Korea is Canada's third-largest trading partner in Asia, after China and Japan. Total bilateral merchandise trade reached approximately CAD10.8bn in 2013.

TAGS: tax | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | China | agreements | tax rates | Canada | Korea, South | United States | trade | Japan | Europe | Asia-Pacific

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