QUESTION PERIOD: CANADA-KOREA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Minister, other bilateral trade agreements are ongoing in Asia, and you talk about the complexity of TPP.
As you know, the previous Conservative government concluded and ratified the historic Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and Korea is the first and only country in Asia with which Canada does have an agreement in force. On the first day the FTA came into force, January 1, 2015, Korea eliminated duties on 81.9 per cent of Canadian tariff lines; and once the agreement is fully implemented, 98 per cent of Canadian tariffs will be eliminated. Being well positioned in this region against our competitors is critical for Canada’s long-term economic success, but this can only be completely realized by the full implementation of the agreement.
Minister, would you describe how in the past seven months of your mandate you have built on the work of your predecessors to identify ways to accelerate the full implementation of the agreement.