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Sask. cattle producers benefit from South Korea free trade deal

Watch above: Saskatchewan cattle producers are welcoming a free trade deal between Canada and South Korea

SASKATOON – A historic free trade deal has been struck between Canada and South Korea. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his South Korean counterpart say the agreement will be a major boost for Canadian exporters.

This news was welcomed by the Canadian beef industry as it still recovers from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) more than a decade later.

“It’s another market and another market means maximizing the value of the animal and at the end of the day that means more value for the producer,” said Craig Douglas, CEO of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.

This will be our country’s first free trade agreement with an Asian country.

“Much of the world’s economic growth over the next generation will be in Asia with this deal today we have open the door to opportunities that will boost Canadian prosperity now and for decades to come,” said Harper on Tuesday.

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In 2002, Korea was the fourth largest export market for Canadian beef according to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA).

“Korea lifted its BSE related barriers to Canadian beef in 2012. However, a restrictive 40 per cent tariff on fresh and frozen beef continued to frustrate our exports to Korea,” said SSGA President Harold Martens.

“The agreement announced today will see the tariff on fresh and frozen beef eliminated entirely in a staged process over the next 15 years.”

According to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, as the tariff is eliminated and Canadian supply increases, the CCA expects to be back at pre-BSE levels of trade of $40 to $50 million with potential to grow.

“A ten-year period is a long time to go in a business and not make any money and to hang in there and now that’s why again this exciting and positive because there are producers that went through that and they stuck with the business,” said Douglas.

All involved say the beef industry definitely came out a winner in this deal but the uphill battle is still not over.

“You still have to get into the market and compete and the Americas have been there for a while, the European Union has been there for awhile,” said Malcolm Allen, federal NDP agriculture critic.

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Synopsis of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) – Key Saskatchewan Interests

Korean Tariff Elimination

Grains and Specialty Crops

Duty Free

Wheat, including durum wheat (current duty of up to3%)Immediate
Rye (current duty of up to 108.7%)Immediate
Oats (current duty of up to 554.8%)Immediate
Canary seed (current duty of 3%)Immediate
Un-roasted malt (duty of up to 269%)By year 11

Oilseeds and Oilseed Products

Duty Free

Canola seeds and meal (current duty of 10%)Immediate
Mustard seed (current duty of 3%)Immediate
Golden roasted flaxseed (current duty of 45%)Immediate
Refined canola oil (current duty of 5%)Within 3 to 5 years
Crude canola oil (current duty of 5%)By year 7

Beef

Duty Free

Bovine genetics (current duty of up to 18%)Immediate
Fresh/chilled/frozen beef (current duty of up to 72%)By year 15
Beef offal (current duty of 18%)By year 11

Pork

Duty Free

Swine genetics (current duty of up to 18%)Immediate
Pure-bred swine (current duty of up to 18%)Immediate
Fresh/chilled/frozen pork (current duty of up to 25%)Over 5 to 13 years
Pork offal (current duty of 18%)At year 11

Pulses

Duty Free

Chick peas and lentils (current duty of 27%)Within 3 to 5 years

Honey

Duty Free

Natural honey (current duty of up to 243%)With 100 tonne quota growing to 200 tonnes by year 21
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Other

Duty Free

Non-agricultural ProductsWhen the CKFTA enters into force, over 95% of South Korean tariff lines for non-agricultural products of interest to Saskatchewan will be subject to immediate duty-free access

Machinery and Equipment

Duty Free

Weighing machinery (current duty rate of 8%)Immediate

Mineral Products

Duty Free

Potash (current duty up to 6.5%)Immediate
Iron and steel products (current duty of up to 8%)Immediate

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