September 22, 2014 – The signing of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) by the Canadian and Korean governments means that Canadian canola is well on its way to tariff-free access to South Korea. The agreement, first announced in March 2014, was signed today in Ottawa by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Korean President Park Geun-hye.
“We congratulate the two governments for signing the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and committing to securing the approval of the Members of Parliament in Canada and Korea,” says Patti Miller, President of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). “This will put canola on equal footing with other oilseeds, improving export opportunities for both seed and oil.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the current 5% tariff that Korea applies to canola seed will be eliminated immediately when the agreement takes effect, with refined canola oil and crude oil tariffs eliminated over three and seven years respectively. The CCC estimates that the agreement could double South Korea’s imports of Canadian canola seed and oil, which are currently valued at $60-90 million annually.
Achieving stable and open trade through tariff elimination is a key priority in the industry’s strategic plan, Keep it Coming 2025, which is aimed at increasing the profitability of canola for everyone in the industry value chain.
“We’ve been engaged with these negotiations since they began in 2005, and it’s very satisfying to see that our government achieved such a good outcome for canola,” says Miller. “We now urge both governments and our Canadian MPs to pass the enacting legislation before the end of the year so the benefits of the agreement can begin to flow starting in January 2015.”
Canola contributes $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy annually and supports 249,000 jobs. The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, value added processors, life science companies and exporters. Keep it Coming 2025 is the strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success – achieving 52 bushels per acre and 26 million metric tonnes of production by the year 2025.
Media may contact:
Jim Everson, Vice President, Government Relations