Canada-Korea trade agreement could grow Canadian recreational boating

BOLTON, ON — The National Marine Manufacturers Association Canada (NMMA Canada) today announced its support for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), signed yesterday in Seoul by Prime Minister Harper and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.  This significant trade agreement is the first for Canada with the Asian market. South Korea is the world’s 15th largest economy (GDP of $1.1 trillion) and is already Canada’s seventh-largest merchandise trading partner.  Through this new agreement, the trade relationship between these two nations is expected to grow.

“We are pleased that negotiations for CKFTA have concluded, and members of NMMA Canada look forward to realizing increased export opportunities with access to this significant Asian market as a result of this agreement,” said Sara Anghel, Executive Director/Vice-President Government Relations, NMMA Canada. “Canadian businesses in the recreational boating industry are recognized for producing innovative and high-quality product. We expect our industry to benefit from the elimination of Korean tariffs in particular.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development has informed NMMA Canada that the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will eliminate Korean duties on products exported by recreational boating companies.  Tariffs on yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports, as well as rowing boats and canoes, currently face Korean tariffs of up to 8%.  All duties for these goods would be eliminated within 3 years of the coming into force of the agreement.

According to statements made yesterday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the United States and the European Union already have free trade agreements with Korea, and CKFTA will level the playing field for Canadian exporters and investors. The agreement is expected to create new jobs and growth opportunities for Canadian businesses.

According to The Economic Impact of Recreational Boating in Canada: 2012, the recreational boating industry is a significant economic driver for Canada; generating $8.9 billion in revenues, contributing $5 billion to GDP, and employing nearly 70,000 people.

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