March 10, 2014 1:50 pm

Harper in South Korea for expected trade deal

Above: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Seoul, where he’s expected to announce another free trade deal that could mean big changes for Canadian ranchers and auto dealers. Vassy Kapelos reports.

OTTAWA – Canada’s prime minister has travelled to South Korea, where he is widely expected to announce a free-trade deal.

A South Korean delegation greeted Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday in Seoul.

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READ MORE: In conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

There’s no word yet on whether Harper plans to sign the final text of a free-trade deal with South Korea or is simply going to announce an agreement-in-principle in a staged photo-op.

A free-trade agreement with South Korea – which Harper says is a gateway to deals with other Asian countries – has been a decade in the making.

One major sticking point is the auto sector, with Canada having a 6.1 per cent tariff on car imports.

Critics fear that if it is removed, the Canadian market would be flooded with Korean-made brands such as Hyundai and Kia.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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