Canada: Korea FTA: Gateway To The Asian Market

This comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and Korea was announced today by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pushing further the Canadian Government's ambitious trade agenda. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) has released a document summarizing the key points in the Canada–Korea FTA entitled Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA): Technical Summary of Final Negotiatied Outcomes. The document summarizes the following negotiated outcomes of the Canada- Korea FTA, described in further detail below:

  1. Non-agricultural goods
  2. Agricultural and agri-food products
  3. Services and investment
  4. Government procurement
  5. Intellectual property
  6. Dispute settlement and institutional provisions
  7. Environment and labour

General Benefits

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.

Non-Agricultural Goods

DFATD's Technical Summary outlined the following important benefits for the non-agricultural goods sectors:

  • Industrial goods sector: With the FTA between Canada and Korea, access to the Korean market will be significantly improved for Canada's industrial sectors, accomplished by the mutual elimination of tariffs on all exports of industrial goods. Canadian exports will become more competitive not only with Korean domestic producers, but also with major competitors from United States and the European Union, who already enjoy Free Trade agreements with Korea. Manufacturing industry workers across Canada will be able to reap these benefits of the new access to the Korean market. 
  • Automotive Industry: The automotive provisions in the Canada-Korea FTA, will include tariff elimination, rules of origins, non-tariff issues, standards-related measures, specialized dispute settlement procedures, and unique safeguard provisions to protect against import surges.
  • Wood and forestry products: The Canada-Korea FTA will gradually eliminate all Korean tariffs on forestry and wood products under the Canada-Korea FTA, with 57 percent of the tariff lines for wood and forest products eliminated as soon as the agreement comes into force. Provinces like British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta will greatly benefit from the tariff elimination in the wood and forest products sector.
  • Fish and seafood sector: Canada has a significant export capacity in the fish and seafood sector. Under the Canada-Korea FTA, all Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products will be gradually eliminated, with nearly 70 percent of fish and seafood tariff lines becoming duty-free within five years of the Agreement's entry into force. It is expected that benefits from the Canada-Korea FTA will be of great advantage to workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Agricultural and agri-food products

The key advantages for the agricultural sectors were also highlighted in both the Prime Minister's announcement and DFATD's Technical Summary:

  • Eliminating the tariff lines for 86.8 percent of South Korean agricultural products will allow the expansion of agricultural related products to Korea, which will greatly benefit Canada's agricultural sectors,
  • Canadian tariff eliminations will include immediate duty-free access to 50.7 percent of agricultural tariff lines, with a further 36.3 percent of duties eliminated over five years.
  • 13 percent of Canadian agricultural tariff lines will be excluded from tariff elimination and no additional market will be provided for Korea's dairy, poultry and eggs.


The service industry is a vital sector of the Canadian economy, providing advanced professional services in areas such as engineering, architecture, information management, environmental protection and monitoring, mining and energy development. Canada's services exports to Korea total over $750 million and there is great potential for growth and development.

The Canada-Korea FTA will establish:

  • greater transparency and disciplines, resulting in better, more secure and predictable market access in areas of interest to Canada, such as professional services, environmental services and business services;
  • temporary entry provisions will provide new, preferential access to the Korean market to business visitors, traders and investors, intra-company transferees and professionals, thus facilitating their movement between Canada and Korea.
  • financial services provisions of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement that will help protect existing investments and encourage further competition in the financial sector.


The investment chapter in the Canada-Korea FTA is not described in great detail in DFATD's Technical Summary. However, it is noted that the provisions in the investment chapter of the Canada – Korea FTA will ensure that Canadian investors can benefit from:

  • a more transparent and predictable environment, setting out the respective rights and obligations with respect to the treatment of Canadian investors in Korea and Korean investors in Canada.
  • South Korea's commitment to provide non-discriminatory treatment to Canadian investors, subject to South Korean laws.
  • protection against discriminatory treatment, including at the pre-establishment stage of an investment, 
  • protection from expropriation without prompt and adequate compensation.
  • investor-state disputes settlement provisions, which grant investors access to international arbitration to resolve disputes, thus ensuring greater protections for investors against discriminatory and arbitrary practices, as they have increased assurance that their investments will be treated fairly

The services and investment chapters also include a "negative list approach," under which a market is fully open unless otherwise listed in a reservation. This approach will offer investors from each market more transparent and predictable domestic regulatory regimes.

Government Procurement

Government procurement is a major source of economic activity in Korea and Canadian suppliers of products and services will enjoy preferential access to the procurement activities of the Korean government entities. The Agreement aims to put Canadian suppliers on equal footing with U.S. competitors and at advantage over competitors from other World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement parties, such as Japan and the European Union, which face higher thresholds. In turn, Korean suppliers will gain access to Canadian central government procurement opportunities for contracts valued above $100,000.

The Agreement does not cover provincial, territorial or municipal government procurement, Canada and Korea will have commitments in relation to sub-national procurement once the revised WTO Government Procurement Agreement comes into force (expected in April 2014).

Intellectual Property

The Canada–Korea FTA will ensure that Canadian copyright, patent and trademark owners have their rights fully respected in the Korean marketplace. Moreover, robust enforcement provisions in the FTA provide further assurance and confidence for Canadian Intellectual Property rights-holders doing business in the Korean market. This Agreement also aims to increase opportunities for cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

Dispute settlement and Institutional provisions

This chapter aims to establish a dispute settlement process that is faster and more efficient than the dispute resolution process in the WTO and many other trade agreements, by providing for efficient, three-person dispute settlement panels, with panellists appointed through an ad-hoc appointment process.

The Agreement includes further provisions for:

  • cultural cooperation to promote cultural exchanges and joint initiatives, such as audiovisual co-production;
  • transparency provisions ensure that each party has access to information;
  • provides for a joint commission that oversees and facilitates the implementation and application of the Agreement and supervises the work of the Agreement's various committees;
  • amendment provisions that allow parties to agree to revise and update the Agreement;
  • termination and withdrawal provisions allow either party to terminate or withdraw from the Agreement with six months' notice.

Environment and Labour

The environment provisions in the Canada-Korea FTA provide for a framework of cooperation in areas of mutual interest, as well as dispute resolution process to address any questions regarding compliance.

With respect to labour, the Canada-Korea FTA contains provisions that ensure Canada's and South Korea's adherence to national labour laws and policies in each country as well as respect of international labour standards, including in regard to the International Labour Organization's 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. A non-derogation clause prevents either party from derogating from its labour laws in order to encourage trade or investment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions