The Canadian Pork industry welcomed news that the Federal government tabled the text of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement in the House of Commons.
Canadian hog producers, pork processors and meat traders and the many other companies in Canada that provide inputs and services to the industry have a very strong interest in Canada aggressively pursuing further progress toward reducing agri-food trade barriers and achieving additional market access through bilateral trade agreements similar to this trade agreement with South Korea.
“The Canadian pork industry is pleased that the Canadian and South Korean goverments are working toward an aggressive timetable to bring the agreement into force,” stated Canada Pork Council Chair, Jean-Guy Vincent. “The tabling of the Canadian-Korean FTA text is a clear demonstration of the commitment to bring the agreement into force for January 1, 2015.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have excellent animal health status, a good supply of high quality feed grains, a very low animal population density and a strong reputation all over the world as a supplier of safe high quality pork,” added Jean-Guy Vincent. “Canada is a globally competitive and successful producer and exporter of pork and pork products. The key factor to sustaining our success is the ability to access a wide variety of markets.”
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 5 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.