Korean National Assembly Ratifies FTAs with Australia, Canada

This week South Korea’s National Assembly ratified the country’s free trade agreements with Australia and Canada. According to Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, the Korea-Australia FTA is set to take effect Dec. 12.

“Entry into force at this time will mean that many Australian exporters will benefit from an immediate tariff cut by Korea, and a further tariff cut on 1 January 2015; shoring up our competitiveness in our third-largest export market,” Robb said in a news release.

An announcement by Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development did not specify a date when the Canada-Korea FTA will take effect, but said the two countries are “on track to bring the agreement into force on Jan. 1, 2015.”

Both agreements contain tariff reduction schedules for beef and pork that are similar to those included in the Korea-U.S. FTA. However, there are no “catch-up” provisions so the U.S. will retain a tariff rate advantage over Australia and Canada until those countries’ products reach zero duty.