The Canadian Pork Council (CPC-CCP) has urged its government to speed up negotiations to achieve a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea.
“The federal government must also take every opportunity to assist in completing current WTO negotiations (also known as the Doha Round) and to complete a free-trade deal with Korea which includes pork,” CPC president Clare Schlegel said in a press release.
Recently, the US reached an FTA with Korea, with major benefits for US pork producers. This is why the CPC emphasises rapid action.
“Otherwise, we will find ourselves at a serious disadvantage, compared to countries such as the United States, which has the ‘KORUS’ agreement and many other recently completed deals that, if left unmatched by Canada, will result in our pork and many other products losing out to the US and other exporters in important foreign markets.”
Losing the current place
“Our examination of the deal reached between the United States and Korea”, adds Schlegel, “clearly shows Canada would lose its current place as one of Korea’s two most important suppliers.
“The 50% increase in the Canadian dollar against the US dollar since 2002 has hit the Canadian hog and pork industries extremely hard. The lack of a FTA with Korea could force many more in our industry to fold.”
Recently, Canada successfully concluded FTA negotiations with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. FTA negotiations with Peru, Columbia and the Dominican Republic were launched.
“These trade agreements are crucial in opening up further market access opportunities for Canada,” Schlegel said. “The Canadian hog and pork industry has a vital interest in improved export access and not falling behind other countries that have been aggressively pursuing regional trade agreements, such as the US and Chile.”
“These new trade agreements are definitely a step in the right direction,” continued Schlegel.
â€¢ Canadian Pork Council – Conseil canadien du porc (CPC-CCP)
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