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Pork Producers Applaud Canada-South Korea Agreement

12 March 2014

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has welcome the news that the terms of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between South Korea and Canada have been finalised.

The Canadian government’s commitment to its trade negotiations programme is key to maintaining existing pork markets, and opening up new markets to pork is critical to the Canadian hog industry.

"The completion of a Canada-South Korean Free Trade Agreement was of critical importance for the Canadian pork sector. Korean people recognise the quality of Canadian pork due and we look forward to rebuilding market share lost in South Korea," stated CPC’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent.

"The absence of an FTA with Korea was causing substantial and growing prejudice to the Canadian pork industry due to the tariff rates since all of our key competitors in Korea have FTAs in place."

The Canadian pork industry has been a strong advocate for completing a Canada-Korea FTA to prevent further deterioration in Canada’s competitive position in that market against competitors – the United States, the European Union and Chile, all of which have free trade deals in place.

The FTA will allow the pork industry the possibility of being on an equal footing with those competitors in what has at times been the industries third or fourth most important export market.

Without an FTA with Korea, Canada’s 223 million dollars of pork trade with Korea in 2011 and 129 million dollars of pork trade in 2012 would largely disappear when the FTAs Korea has signed with three other countries are fully implemented.

Canada exported approximately 76 million dollars of pork to Korea in 2013.

South Korea has always been a top five market and the high value of the items sold there, such as chilled (shoulder) butts and bellies, is significant enough to have a major impact on Canadian hog prices and jobs in both the farming and processing sectors should Canada lose access to the market.

An American study evaluated the benefits for the US pork sector of the FTA between US and Korea at US $10 per hog. The benefits for the Canadian pork industry of a Canadian FTA with South Korea should be similar as those in the US.

"2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that created a trilateral rules-based trade bloc in North America," added Mr Vincent.

"Canadian hog producers, pork processors and meat traders and the many other companies in Canada that provide inputs and services to our industry have a very strong interest in Canada aggressively pursuing further progress toward reducing agri-food trade barriers and trade-distorting subsidies, and achieving additional market access."

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