July 3, 2006


Canada urges South Korea to lift beef and pork tariffs in FTA talks



Canada has urged South Korea to remove tariffs on beef and pork in their sixth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks , government officials said Monday (Jul 3), Canada's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said.


Talks between the two countries began in July last year and an agreement is expected by the end of the year.


South Korea, while agreeable to the lifting of the tariffs, is hoping to gain access to Canada's auto and shipbuilding industries.


The countries plan to finish the list of potential tariff-free goods during the seventh round of talks slated for September in Ottawa.


Canada is the sixth country or regional economic bloc to hold formal FTA talks with South Korea.


Analysts say a free trade accord could possibly double bilateral trade to US$10 billion from the current $5.5 billion.


South Korea has signed FTAs with Chile, Singapore and the European Free Trade Association and is now in discussions with the US, ASEAN and Japan.

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