September 24th, 2014

NDP supports Canada – Korea trade deal

Today, the NDP announced its support for the Canada-South Korea Trade Agreement, Canada’s first trade agreement with an Asian country.

“Increasing our trade ties with Asia is key to ensuring Canada’s prosperity in the 21st century," said NDP Trade critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway). "South Korea is a democratic country with a complementary, high-standards economy that provides significant, strategic benefits for Canada. While we have some concerns, we believe this agreement is, on balance, a good deal for Canada.”

Canadian exporters have lost 30% of their market share in South Korea since 2012 – when the EU and US implemented agreements and secured preferential access for their companies. Australia, a major competitor with Canada, is poised to adopt its own trade deal with South Korea. The Canada-Korea Trade Agreement will level the playing field for Canadian companies, and give them a foothold in a key Asian market.

While affirming their intention to vote in favour of the deal, Davies made it clear it is not the agreement an NDP government would have negotiated. He criticised the Conservative government for insisting on an unnecessary Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, and failing to secure the same protections for the auto industry that the United States achieved in their agreement with South Korea.

“The South Korean government aggressively promotes exports and their automotive industry,” said Davies. “Conservatives have been failing our country's manufacturing sector and must do more to ensure Canada’s automotive sector has the support it needs to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market."