March 11, 2014 Canada and South Korea announced they have successfully concluded negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement known as the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).  This will be Canada’s first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an Asian country.

The Canadian Department of Affairs, Trade and Development states that it should increase Canadian exports by 32% and boost the domestic economy by $1.7 billion.  Although this agreement has been signed, the Canadian public may not be cheering.  Canada’s single largest export to South Korea is coal, which is turned around and burned in South Korea letting off over 19 million metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Scott Sinclair comments in 3/14/14 issue of, “While South Korea has been moving up the global value chain, Canada has been slipping down. NAFTA-style trade and investment treaties deny governments the industrial policy tools which earlier South Korean governments employed so successfully to encourage manufacturing-led growth and which, in future, might help Canada correct its economic course.”

U.S. Korea BannerThe United States of America already has a FTA in place with South Korea.

If you’re an American exporter, here are resources to answer your questions about how the U.S.-Korea trade agreement can work for you:

• Check out the FTA Tariff Tool to find out the new tariff levels for your products, and other information about your market access under the agreement.

• For a detailed list of resources to assist U.S. exporters and importers, including information regarding certification of origin, please see Tools to Help Utilize the U.S.-Korea FTA.

• For further assistance, please email or call USTR’s Office of Korean Affairs at 202-395-5070, where Bryant Trick or Su-Jin Yoo can help to answer additional questions.

Sources: STR Report, The Tyee, US Korea FTA