Agreement imperative to restore level playing field for Canadian firms and protect and create jobs for Canadian workers
TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Companies and organizations representing key sectors in Ontario and across the country, have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Harper, urging the Government of Canada to successfully conclude a free trade agreement with South Korea.
"Only the conclusion of an FTA with South Korea will protect and create jobs by restoring a level playing field for Canadian companies and workers, and reversing the ongoing economic eviction of Canadian companies from the South Korean market.
"This continuing eviction of Canadian companies from the strategically important Korean market, and our competitive disadvantage, threatens Canadians' prosperity and jobs.
"Our export-oriented sectors are eager to see Canada negotiate and conclude a free trade agreement with Korea to secure our access to that market, and through it, the larger Asia-Pacific region."
The letter has been signed by the following companies and organizations:
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada / Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario / Maple Leaf Foods Inc. / BlackBerry / Beef Farmers of Ontario / Alliance of Ontario Food Processors / I.E Canada / Pulse Canada / Canadian Cattlemen's Association / Canadian Pork Council / Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance / Malting Industry Association of Canada / Canadian Meat Council - Conestoga Meat Packers Ltd / Sunworld Farms Ltd / Cargill Beef Canada / Ontario Bean Growers / Canada Pork International / Quality Meat Packers Ltd / Ontario Pork / Fur Institute / Pet Food Association of Canada / North American Fur Auctions / Canola Council of Canada / Grain Growers of Canada / Canadian Canola Growers Association / Andrew Peller Limited / Spirits Canada / Canadian Vintners Association / The Mining Association of Canada
Negotiations with South Korea were launched nearly 9 years ago. A lucrative market of 50 million consumers and a key hub of the Asian supply chain, South Korea is Canada's 7th largest trade partner, and 3rd largest in Asia.
The United States, European Union and, most recently, Australia have all concluded Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with South Korea. Consequently, this has put Canadian exporters at a significant competitive disadvantage in that market.
In the first year since the Korea-US FTA took effect in 2012, Canada's exports to Korea dropped by 30% (over $1.5 billion).
SOURCE: Companies and organizations representing key manufacturing sectors in Ontario and across Canada
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