|By Marketwired .||
|June 12, 2014 04:17 PM EDT||
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/12/14 -- Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) is grateful the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement moved one step closer to completion with the tabling of the formal text in the House of Commons today.
"Our members eagerly await the start date of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement," said CAFTA President Lisa Skierka. "Every day counts and so we applaud the efforts of both governments to follow a timeline designed to bring the agreement into force in early 2015."
CAFTA has urged the federal government to conclude the agreement with South Korea for several years. Since 2011, Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports to Korea have dropped by approximately 50 per cent, from a level exceeding $1 billion.
"The benefits of an FTA with South Korea are real and substantive for our country's national and provincial economies," said Skierka. "In the agri-food industry, we directly employ close to 500,000 Canadians and represent 80 per cent of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports-an FTA with South Korea will give our members back the level playing field that simply does not exist today."
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will stimulate jobs and growth in the food processing sector which is the largest manufacturing employer in Canada. It will make a difference for Canadians, and the agriculture value chain, from farmers and ranchers to processors and exporters.
CAFTA is a coalition of national and regional organizations that support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA's members include producer organizations, processors, marketers and exporters from the major trade dependent sectors in Canada. Together, these sectors produce almost 80 per cent of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports, conduct about $40 billion in business annually and directly employ close to 500,000 Canadians.
Janet Hueglin Hartwick
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