Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA)

What's being said

Business Associations

“We support the government’s ambitious international trade agenda including this free trade agreement with South Korea as well as the Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). We welcome greater market access for the high-quality food products made in Canada by our member companies. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement could open doors for Canadian companies looking—and needing—to expand beyond our borders.”

Food and consumer products of Canada (FCPC)

“The South Korean market represents a significant opportunity for members of our local ocean technology cluster, represented by OceansAdvance. Our companies’ technologies are among the most innovative ocean technologies available in the global blue economy. Furthermore, Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine research and training capabilities, coupled with a profound array of R & D infrastructure, are world-renowned. South Korea’s marine research and ocean technology interests are a good fit to initiate collaboration and commerce between our respective ocean industries. As this is Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, OceansAdvance sees this as an opportunity to explore the South Korean market, with a view toward the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.”

Barry Snow, Executive Director, OceansAdvance Inc.

“A prosperous economy requires greater openness and diversification of economic and trade relations between states. For this reason, the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea is good news. This agreement will create greater mobility of goods and people, and foster investment and the creation and retention of quality jobs throughout the country. Moreover, efforts in the areas of training and information will be needed to enable employers in Quebec and the rest of Canada to benefit even more from the new commercial opportunities that will open up in strategic business lines in which they already have a relative advantage and recognized expertise.”

Yves-Thomas Dorval, President, Quebec Employers Council

“The strategy to diversify the export markets of Canadian companies must be based on preferential access to large-scale markets. The free trade agreement with South Korea will give our export companies a business advantage in a country that is experiencing phenomenal growth. We congratulate the Government of Canada on this strategic move, which is a direct response to demand from the business community.”

Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal

“The chamber supports the free trade agreement with South Korea, which will benefit Manitoba’s dynamic economy across all sectors. We look forward to working with government and our members on the new opportunities this agreement will provide.”

Chuck Davidson, President and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce

“The Business Council of British Columbia has strongly supported the development of a bilateral trade agreement with South Korea. We believe an agreement will enable more B.C. companies to sell into and do business with South Korea, which is both a large market and one of the most prosperous countries in Asia. Among the sectors expected to benefit from a Canada-Korea FTA are wood products, agri-food, advanced technology, mining and post-secondary education.”

Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Business Council of BC

“A Canada-South Korea free trade agreement is a coup for almost every industry and region in British Columbia. Whether it’s northeastern B.C.’s natural gas industry, the interior and coastal forest industries, the coast and islands’ fish and seafood exporters, the Okanagan and Fraser valleys’ agriculture and agri-food operations or the Lower Mainland’s IT and professional services providers, a multitude of B.C. businesses stand to gain from this agreement. Reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers with South Korea will give our businesses a critical competitive edge in accessing this strong emerging market. A South Korean trade deal also secures Canada a much-needed foothold in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific market. The BC Chamber of Commerce applauds the federal government for getting this deal done.”

John Winter, President & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce

“The Canada-Korea FTA is a pivotal agreement for Canada. South Korea is one of the world’s fastest-growing advanced economies, and this agreement is a watershed in Canada’s efforts to forge closer economic ties with the Asia-Pacific region. This deal, and others like it, is essential if Canada is to sustain a high quality of life for its citizens by seizing new sources of export growth and opportunities for international trade and investment.”

The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO, Canadian Council of Chief Executives

“During my visit to South Korea last fall, I saw first-hand how Canadian companies were losing their footing in the market to competitors from other countries. Some were even making the difficult choice to shut down their marketing offices. A free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea will help our businesses and increase growth opportunities across many industries: agri-food, aerospace, infrastructure, energy, chemicals, forestry, financial services—the list goes on. Reducing and eliminating trade and investment barriers to this market will boost exports and create new jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“Asia’s rich markets are the next frontier for Canada in our quest to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment. Canada’s free trade agreement with South Korea will be the first step in gaining much more open access for Canadian exports. This agreement should make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and manufacturers, create jobs and opportunities for Canadians and level the playing field for Canadian businesses, making them more competitive on the global stage.”

Jayson Myers, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

“I.E. Canada believes strongly that the liberalization of trade benefits the Canadian economy. An FTA with South Korea will create new opportunities and secure market access for our members. Establishing free trade with South Korea puts Canadian businesses on an equal footing with some of their global competitors, particularly the United States and the European Union, with whom the country has already established FTAs. Formalizing our relationship with South Korea ultimately provides Canada with another opportunity to expand our commercial presence and create critical growth in new markets.”

Joy Nott, President, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (I.E. Canada)

“Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses [SMEs] have always supported freer trading arrangements with other countries, provided the right conditions are in place. CFIB surveys show that high tariffs and navigating through the rules of different countries are two of the most difficult trade barriers faced by small businesses. By addressing these challenges, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will give Canadian entrepreneurs better access to the South Korean market, which can serve as a launching pad for getting into the giant Asian market. This agreement is great news for Canada’s SMEs.”

Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

Industrial Goods

“This most recent free trade agreement with South Korea demonstrates continued progress by the Canadian government in removing trade barriers that hinder Canadian companies’ competitiveness internationally. As an export-focused company, we are required to remain competitive on a global scale and we welcome the opportunity to sell more effectively into the South Korean market.”

Fraser Edison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rutter Inc.

"The signing of a free trade agreement between Canada and Korea is great news. We anticipate this agreement, when it comes into force, will open new markets to Canadian exporters like NOVO throughout the dynamic and fast-growing Asian market and will generate significant commercial opportunities for all Canadian small to medium sized businesses."

Baljit Sierra, President and CEO, NOVO Plastics Inc.

"The free trade agreement with South Korea is an additional step towards increasing open markets for the Canadian aluminium industry following the recent agreement with the European Union. Right from the outset, this agreement will reduce existing tariffs by 98 percent which can go up to 8 percent depending on the type of aluminium product."

Jean Simard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aluminium Association of Canada

"Free and open trade with priority markets in Asia, most notably Korea and Japan, is vital to Canada's national interest to be globally competitive, create jobs and increase prosperity. The successful conclusion of a trade agreement with Korea would also allow Canada to direct its full resources towards the swift completion of the economic partnership agreement with Japan."

Jerry Chenkin, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada

“With the imminent completion of these negotiations with South Korea, we expect that the Government of Canada will move expeditiously to finalize a Canada/Japan EPA, to level the playing field for all vehicle distributors in the Canadian market, which will create benefits for Canadian consumers.”

David Adams, President, Global Automakers of Canada

“The Canadian mining industry welcomes the new free trade agreement with South Korea, which is a key market for Canada’s mineral and metal exports. The industry’s ability to compete globally relies on having access to emerging markets and on the free flow of goods and capital. We strongly support this most recent milestone of the Canadian government’s active trade agenda.”

Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, Mining Association of Canada

“Our industry depends on exports and access to international markets to remain competitive and continue creating jobs and revenues here at home. This agreement is imperative to restoring a level playing field for Canadian firms in the South Korean market, which is especially important given the considerable growth the aerospace industry will see in the Asia-Pacific region in coming years. We congratulate the Government of Canada on this achievement, and thank its representatives for their ongoing commitment to boosting Canadian competitiveness in international markets.”

Jim Quick, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canadac

“The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada [CIAC] congratulates the federal government for completing the Canada-South Korea trade deal. CIAC members depend on international markets to thrive and grow, and the recent improvements in market access for Canadian products will make a difference. This deal with South Korea, along with the government’s ongoing Asia-Pacific focus, is improving the competitiveness of Canada’s chemistry industry within global value chains.” 

Richard Paton, President and CEO, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

“Our member companies are providing innovative, life-saving products to Canadian patients every day, but they also rely on the export of these products in order to thrive. We are confident that this free trade agreement will support and enhance the Canadian medical technology industry, which will benefit Canadian patients and contribute to increased economic growth and job creation.”

Brian Lewis, President and CEO, MEDEC–Canada’s Medical Technology Companies

“The Canadian Apparel Federation applauds the Government of Canada’s achievement of a free trade agreement with South Korea featuring very progressive rules of origin. As a fast-growing economy and market of increasingly affluent consumers, South Korea has real potential for Canadian apparel exporters. In addition, we look forward to the government moving forward to conclude trade agreements with other priority markets in Asia, such as Japan.”

Elliot Lifson, President, Canadian Apparel Federation

“We welcome the conclusion of negotiations between Canada and South Korea on a free trade agreement. This agreement recognizes the significant potential for increased trade and investment ties between our countries; I am confident it will provide a supportive framework for Bombardier as we grow our aerospace and rail business and partnerships in South Korea. I expect Canadian firms, such as Bombardier, to be able to benefit from the agreement in areas such as tariff elimination, labour mobility and investment, as well as government procurement.”

Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.

Forestry and value-added wood products

“The new Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will level the playing field for Canadian forest products and value-added wood products companies allowing them increased opportunities for market expansion and growth. We look forward to the mutual benefits that both Canada and South Korea will enjoy as a direct result of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement in the years to come.”

Rick Jeffery, President and CEO, Coast Forest Products Association

“South Korea is now the fourth-largest market for the Canadian forest products industry and an important target country as we push to export more into the Asia-Pacific region. This free trade deal targets existing tariff and non-tariff barriers on our forest products sales to South Korea, and as such will help us reach our sector’s ambitious Vision2020 goal of an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new products and markets by the end of the decade.”

David Lindsay, President and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada

Fish and seafood products

“We commend the efforts of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada on their continued commitment to expanding Canada’s trade with other countries around the globe. Asia is the world’s fastest growing economic region, and seafood imports into this market will provide us with the opportunity to enhance our market presence throughout South Korea and all of Asia.”

Martin Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Choice International

“The Lobster Council of Canada supports a Canada-South Korea free trade agreement, as it will greatly enhance our industry’s competiveness in South Korea. Tariff elimination and improved market access for lobster exports helps to ensure the long-term prosperity of our industry and the thousands of people it employs in Atlantic Canada.”

Geoff Irvine, Executive Director, Lobster Council of Canada

“A Canada-Korea free trade agreement will be good for Canada’s Pacific wild seafood industry. The U.S.-Korea free trade arrangement, which came into effect in 2012, is eagerly being seized on by our Alaskan competitors and we cannot afford to be left behind. We know there are benefits to a free trade agreement with Korea because our Alaskan competitors are already enjoying them. Reducing tariffs on seafood will open up the Korean market to high-quality Canadian Pacific seafood, and this will translate into jobs and prosperity for British Columbians.”

Christopher Sporer, Executive Director, Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia

"Free trade is a key ingredient for the future success of the seafood business in Canada. The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union was great news, and we’re pleased that opening markets around the world, especially in growing Asian markets such as South Korea, is a priority for the Government of Canada. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create significant market access opportunities for Canada’s fish and seafood sector by eliminating South Korea’s high tariffs on all fish and seafood products."

Derek Butler, Executive Director, Association of Seafood Producers

“Seafood is B.C.’s most valuable agri-food export commodity, worth about $1 billion annually. Tariffs on exports of seafood to South Korea are 20 percent or more for salmon, halibut, sablefish, prawns, herring roe, sea urchins, geoduck, shrimp and prawns and 10-20 percent for groundfish. Clearly, a free trade agreement with South Korea is good for our industry and great for the West Coast. Trade means jobs and a higher standard of living for Canadians.”

Christina Burridge, Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

Agricultural and agri-food products

“We are very pleased that the Government of Canada has achieved this trade agreement. There was a sense of urgency on this deal because our competitors, U.S. and Australia were quickly gaining advantage. This means Canadian beef will be able to once again compete for meaningful access to the Korean market.”

Dave Solverson, President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

"Alberta canola producers applaud the federal government for concluding the free trade agreement with South Korea. This agreement will level the playing field for Canadian canola to enter an important export market."

Colin Felstad, Chairman, Alberta Canola Producers Commission

“This trade agreement is of tremendous importance to the food and beverage processing sector in Ontario and across Canada. For the agri-food sector the agreement commits to eliminating nearly 87 percent of tariffs on products from Canada to Korea. An open door to Korea will offer new opportunities for Ontario food and beverage processing companies not just in Korea, but all of Asia through a network of supply chains.”

Steve Peters, Executive Director, Alliance of Ontario Food Processors

“This is excellent news for Canadian beef producers. The ability to get every piece of the animal to the highest value market is what maximizes prices at the farm gate. I particularly like that we will be getting an aggressive phase-out on offals that get more value in Korea than they do here in North America.”

Dan Darling, Vice President and Foreign Trade Chair, Canadian Cattlemen's Association

“This announcement is good news. In 2012, Canadian grain exports to Korea were $479 million a year. Today, they are less than $100 million.  Now, with the FTA announcement , we can look at rebuilding our presence in the Korean market.”

Wade Sobkowic, Executive Director of the Western Grain Elevator Association

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement should put us on a level playing field with our competitors. Asian countries currently represent interesting and lucrative export markets for our industry.”

David Boissonneault, President, Éleveurs de porcs du Québec [Quebec hog producers]

“The Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario is supportive of a Canada-Korea free trade agreement. South Korea is the second most important Asian market for Ontario wines, particularly our premium product, icewine. Such an agreement should increase the competitiveness of Ontario wines in Korea and ultimately lead to increased exports.”

Patrick Gedge, President and CEO, Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

“Although South Korea lifted its BSE restrictions on Canadian beef in 2012, the U.S.-Korea FTA was implemented that year and effectively prevented Canadian beef from fully capitalizing on the important South Korean market. This agreement will restore our ability to ship significant volumes of beef to South Korea, which adds value to every animal processed here in Alberta.”

Greg Bowie, Chair, Alberta Beef Producers

“The Canada-South Korea Free Trade agreement is good news for Alberta’s barley farmers, as the anticipated increase in demand for beef and pork exports will mean greater demand for feed barley. As demand for our exports grows, so too does the profitability for our local farmers. This agreement is the next step toward achieving a more secure agricultural future for barely farmers.”

Matt Sawyer, Chairman, Alberta Barley

“The British Columbia wine industry is excited about the potential for expansion in the key South Korean market. With the growth of B.C. grape acreage and our harvest levels back to normal, we will be looking to new markets to promote our quality B.C. VQA wines around the world. A successful FTA with South Korea would certainly create new opportunities for the ‘Wines of British Columbia’.”

Miles Prodan, President and CEO, British Columbia Wine Institute

“South Korea has been an important and lucrative market for Canadian beef, and we anticipate that this free trade agreement will restore our place in the South Korean market. It will not only increase our exports but, more importantly, it will add value to every animal we raise and process in Canada.”

Kevin Boon, General Manager, British Columbia Cattlemen's Association

“The benefits from an FTA with South Korea are real and substantive for our country’s national and provincial economies. In the agri-food industry, we directly employ more than half a million Canadians and represent 80 percent of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports. The food processing sector is the largest manufacturing employer in Canada, and a Canada-Korea FTA creates tremendous opportunities for our members and the Canadians they employ.”

Lisa Skierka, President, Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance

“As a leading processor of frozen potato products, we believe a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea presents a golden opportunity for us to grow our presence in the South Korean market, and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Free trade helps to support our industry, the workers we employ and the sale of the high-quality products that we’ve been producing for more than 30 years.”

Vince Taddeo, VP International, Cavendish Farms

“The Canada-Korea FTA will be critical to future growth of the Canadian pork industry, 70 percent of which is dependent on export markets.”

Jean Guy Vincent, Chair, Canadian Pork Council

“For the past few years, Canada’s key beef competitor, the United States., has enjoyed an increasing tariff advantage flowing from its FTA with South Korea, and Australia is poised to do likewise through its recent agreement with Korea. Their gain has been our loss. This announcement means Canadian beef will be able to compete for meaningful access in the South Korean market.”

Martin Unrau, Past President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

“This agreement is a major win for Canada's agri-food industry. It restores a level playing field and unlocks strong growth opportunities in an affluent South Korean market for high-quality Canadian pork and other agri-food exports. We strongly encourage the government to implement it promptly.”

Michael McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods

“International exports of Canadian spirits are critical to the financial health of our spirits industry, and it is essential that Canada continues as a leader in trade liberalization in beverage alcohol. Each bottle of spirits exported carries in it premium local cereal grains, whether barley, corn, rye or wheat, and is magically transformed into the highest quality vodka, liqueur or Canadian whisky. A Canada-South Korea free trade agreement is welcome news and provides significant new export opportunities for our industry.”

Jan Westcott, President and CEO, Spirits Canada

“The Canadian wine industry is pleased to support the Government of Canada in its work to finalize negotiations for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. South Korea is an important market for Canadian wine producers, as evidenced by the significant growth in the value of Canadian icewine exports, which increased nearly 25 percent between 2012 and 2013. With a successful FTA, the Canadian wine industry anticipates even stronger export growth in the coming years.”

Dan Paszkowski, President, Canadian Vintners Association

“The Pet Food Association of Canada welcomes the Canada-Korea FTA and the improved market access it and other free trade agreements provide for Canadian pet food manufacturers looking to export Canada’s high-quality pet food products abroad.”

Marty Wilder, Executive Director, Pet Food Association of Canada

“South Korea is an important market for canola, with annual sales ranging from $60 million to $90 million in recent years. Under the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, we could significantly increase—even double—our exports to this market.”

Patti Miller, President, Canola Council of Canada

Services

“As an advocate of bilateral and multilateral free trade, we are confident this agreement signed by Prime Minister Harper and President Park will deliver promising new channels of trade for both countries."

Mike Tierney, President, UPS Canada

“As a company with growing business interests in South Korea, we commend the Federal Government on successfully negotiating a Free Trade agreement between Canada and South Korea that supports increased trade and collaboration between the two countries. We are particularly pleased with the investment chapter of the agreement, which sets out the respective rights and obligations with respect to the treatment of Canadian investors in South Korea and Korean investors in Canada.”

Eric Sprott, Chairman, Sprott Inc.

"As one of Canada's most internationally active business sectors, the life and health insurance industry is a major supporter of free-trade agreements. We are pleased that such an agreement has been reached with such a large and important market as South Korea."

Frank Swedlove, President of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association

“Scotiabank congratulates the governments of Canada and Korea on successfully concluding the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Scotiabank has been operating in the Asia-Pacific region for 50 years, and we welcome this first free trade agreement between Canada and an Asia-Pacific country. This is a positive step toward deeper ties in the Asia-Pacific market, and it recognizes the importance of Canada’s trade with South Korea—the 15th-largest economy in the world. The free trade agreement will provide access to the South Korean financial sector that is on par with the Korea-U.S. FTA and will result in increased investor protection for Canadian financial institutions.”

Brian Porter, President and CEO, Scotiabank

“The Canadian Services Coalition welcomes the announcement of a Canada-Korea free trade agreement. This historic agreement, the first between Canada and an Asian country, will provide Canadian services companies with increased access to the $1.1 trillion South Korean market. Trade agreements are an important priority for Canada’s services industries, which include financial services, engineering and environmental services, professional and consulting services and information technology services. Canadian services companies welcome this agreement as it will be of significant benefit to Canada.”

Shirley-Ann George, Vice Chair, Canadian Services Coalition

“Market access to global markets is the key to creating robust information and communication technology (ICT) sector—a fact almost every ICT company knows well. South Korea is a major force in the global consumer electronics and telecommunications marketplace, and members of the Information and Technology Association of Canada are either part of South Korean supply chains now—or will be in the near future. Freer trade with South Korea offers tremendous opportunities for our sector, so the prospect of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea is fantastic news for our Canadian electronics exporters.”

Information Technology Association of Canada

Transportation

“Over the past decade, the trend toward high-volume containerized shipment of goods has allowed the Port of Montréal to expand its global reach. Emerging markets in Asia now account for 14 percent of our containerized traffic, while their presence here was almost non-existent in the 2000s. Although cargo shipping to and from South Korea represents for us a relatively small volume of activity stemming from the Asian region, a free trade agreement can only increase our imports from and exports to that country.”

Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO, Montréal Port Authority

“Port Metro Vancouver is very pleased with the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea. This is an important step forward in the growing trade relationship between our two countries. South Korea is the port of Vancouver’s third-largest trading partner in Asia, with trade involving more than 200,000 containers per year and including commodities such as grain from the Prairies and natural resources from British Columbia. This trade liberalization agreement will further increase the $10 billion in annual two-way trade between Canada and South Korea, creating jobs and driving economic growth across Canada.”

Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver