By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations are complete.
But the work isn’t done yet.
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is off to South Korea to reaffirm Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. He’s leading a 30-person delegation of agricultural stakeholders, including representatives from the beef, pork, grains, pulses, horticulture, and foods sectors.
"With negotiations now complete, this mission will help build important industry-to-industry agricultural trade ties needed to gain a competitive edge in the lucrative Korean market,” Ritz said in a release.
Ritz and Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the landmark agreement on March 11, 2014.
The free trade deal promises to offer Canada’s beef and pork farmers’ preferential treatment, allowing them to compete with other beef and pork exporting countries in Korea.
Under the agreement, Korea will begin to ease tariffs on Canadian beef. Korean tariffs will be eliminated on 86.8 per cent of agricultural products. The pact offers similar opportunities for the pork industry and other agricultural commodities.
After Ritz concludes his visit in Korea, he will then travel to Japan to bolster agricultural trade interests with Japanese government officials.