CETA in the shadow of South Korea

CETA in the shadow of South Korea

20 March 2015

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CETA agreement in the shadow of the Canadian-South Korean Free Trade Agreement

Canadian Kimchi lovers rejoice; the free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea has been in force since January 2015, and has already had an impact on the prices of Korean cars, electronic devices, and foodstuffs.

On the basis of this new Canadian-South Korean agreement, two of the biggest Korean automakers in the Canadian Market, Hyundai and Kia, have already reduced the price of their cars between CDN $300-1300.  Previously, these manufacturers had paid a 6.1% import duty on every car being imported to Canada.

In addition, the free trade agreement applies to imported non-agricultural products, which now attract no import duties.  For agricultural products, the import duties will be reduced within the coming years, to as low as 0% on some products (including seafood).

In March 2014, nearly a full calendar year ago, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, gave a presentation in Munich wherein his central point was that CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), the proposed new free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, was nearly complete.  One year later, and the conclusion of this agreement appears to be just as far away as ever. Why? There is still massive resistance amongst various interest groups in several European states as well an in Canada focused on fears that the arbitration proceedings envisioned in the Treaty may not offer the same degree of accountability as court proceedings.