FTA with South Korea Expected to Reverse Declining Pork Exp[oprts to that Nation

Mar 14, 2014

By Bruce Cochrane

The vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council is confident a new free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea will help reverse a steady decline in Canadian pork exports to that market.

Earlier this week Canada and South Korea concluded negotiations on a landmark free trade agreement that will virtually eliminate tariffs on pork and level the playing field for Canadian exporters.

Rick Bergmann, the vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council, notes because of the lack of a free trade agreement with South Korea Canadian pork producers and processors have seen a steady loss of market share to key competitors, most notably the United States, the European Union and Chile, which already have free trade agreements in place with South Korea.

Rick Bergmann-Canadian Pork Council:
South Korea has played a very significant role in regards for us to export products there.

In the past it's been quite strong actually.
In 2011 we sold well over 200 million dollars worth of product to South Korea and, as time has gone on because of some of the tariffs that have been in place and because we haven't had a free trade agreement recently it has dropped as far as 76 million in 2013.

Now that we've got a free trade agreement those tariffs are going to be reduced as time goes on so it gives us an opportunity of rebuilding the relationship that we've had in the past with them and making it even stronger.

We're very encouraged that, with this new agreement in place, we will see those numbers climb back up again and hopefully surpass the numbers we've experienced in the past.

Bergmann suggest deals like this don't just happen.
He says we've seen in the past and we see again strong commitments by the federal government in cultivating relationships and building deals that enhance agriculture, particularly pork production in Canada, and he applauds the efforts of prime minister Stephen Harper and trade minister Ed Fast who were in South Korea this week to sign the deal and agriculture minister Gerry Ritz.

Source: Farmscape

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