New Report Details Importance and Benefit to Canada for Korea Free-Trade Deal - Automotive Sector Concerns "Misplaced"

CALGARY, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement signed last week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a transformative deal for Canada, according to a report published by The School of Public Policy.

Author Eugene Beaulieu is explicit that the deal is of overall benefit to Canada, deeming it a great leap toward deeper economic integration with Asia.

"A bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea should deliver significant commercial benefits across many sectors of the Canadian economy," he writes. "In addition to generating benefits for Canadian consumers, an FTA with South Korea would better enable Canadian companies to tap into global value chains, take advantage of increased export opportunities, and employ South Korea as a strategic base for expanding their presence in Northeast Asia."

In response to outcries of the Canadian auto industry that the deal will mean reduced demand for Canadian-made vehicles thereby causing severe job and revenue losses, Beaulieu argues these concerns are misplaced.

"This agreement could be a significant boost to that sector as well," the author writes. "Canadian automakers are concerned about competing with South Korea's Hyundai Kia. But the agreement also offers improved access to the Korean market for Canadian-made automobiles — and, more importantly, provides an opening to the vital and burgeoning wider Asian automobile market."

The report can be found at http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/?q=content/canada-korea-free-trade-watershed-economic-integration-asia

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

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