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Canada enters into free-trade agreement with South Korea

On 11 March 2014, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and President Park Geun Hye of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) announced the successful conclusion of negotiations on a new Canada-Korea free-trade agreement (FTA). This agreement in principle concludes almost a decade of negotiations and marks Canada’s first FTA in the Asia-Pacific market. Both the US and the EU have existing FTAs with South Korea. Accordingly, the stated hope of the government of Canada is that the FTA will not only secure Canada’s position in the South Korean market (projecting a 32 per cent increase in exports to South Korea, currently Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner) but also serve as a ‘gateway’ for Canadian business and workers to the Asia-Pacific market more generally.

While the final text of the FTA is still being drafted, a final agreement summary of the FTA recently tabled in the House of Commons provides some insight into the scope of the agreement.

This FTA will affect most aspects of trade between Canada and South Korea, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, non-tariff barriers, intellectual property and other areas of economic activity. Key provisions are summarised below…

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