Time to Strike a Trade Deal with Korea

VANCOUVER, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - British Columbia's seafood sector will be a big beneficiary of a trade agreement with the Republic of Korea, according to Christina Burridge, Executive Director of the BC Seafood Alliance, representing wild fisheries on the West Coast.  Seafood is BC's most valuable agrifood export commodity worth about $1 billion annually.  Wild seafood accounts for almost 2/3 of that total.

Burridge noted that tariffs on exports on seafood to Korea are at 20% or more for salmon, halibut, sablefish, prawns, herring roe, sea urchins, geoduck, shrimp and prawns and 10-20% for groundfish, virtually all the wild seafood we produce on the West Coast.   "The US struck a deal effective in 2012, and Alaskan exporters have already shut our companies out of the Korean market," she said.   "It's simply not possible to compete with the US when tariffs are so high.  We are losing out."

Canada should not let a single sector veto a deal that is good for the entire country, Burridge said.  "Trade means jobs and a higher standard of living for Canadians.  If CETA with the EU was good, then Korea, for the West Coast, will be much better."

Image with caption: "BC Seafood Alliance (CNW Group/BC Seafood Alliance)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140210_C8509_PHOTO_EN_36433.jpg

SOURCE: BC Seafood Alliance

For further information:

Christina Burridge, 604.377.9213, cburridge@telus.net

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