We recently reported that a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and Korea was announced by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Today, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) announced the Final Agreement Summary along with a technical summary was tabled in the House of Commons.
One of the steps to bring a free trade agreement into force in Canada is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to table the international agreement, accompanied by a brief explanatory memorandum, in the House of Commons before taking any action to bring the agreement into force. The House of Commons then has 21 sitting days to consider the treaty before the executive takes action to bring the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement into effect, either though introducing legislation (if required), or through preparing an Order in Council authorizing the instrument of accession.
Once this FTA comes into force, Canada and Korea will cooperate in areas of great mutual interest to include agricultural and non-agricultural goods sectors, services and investment, government procurement, intellectual property, environmental and labour. The agreement also contains dispute settlement and institutional provisions.
Key benefits stemming from the Canada-Korea FTA were summarized in the Prime Minister’s announcement of March 11, 2014 as follows:
- Create thousands of new jobs in Canada covering various sectors of the economy
- Improved access to Korea’s government procurement market
- Benefit to Canadian consumers as a greater variety of goods from Korea will be available at lower prices
- Canadian exports to Korea are expected to substantially increase by 32 percent with the Canadian economy thus increasing by $1.7 billion annually
- Considerable tariff and non-tariff measures reductions for Canadian companies
- Improved access for professional, environmental and business services
- Preferential treatment for business visitors, traders, investors and professionals, such as architects and engineers, to facilitate their movement between Canada and Korea.