Canada-South Korea free trade deal imminent: Reports

South Korean President Park Geun-hye salutes during a joint commissioning ceremony for 5,860 new...

South Korean President Park Geun-hye salutes during a joint commissioning ceremony for 5,860 new officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines at the military headquarters in Gyeryong, south of Seoul on March 6, 2014. (REUTERS/Jung Yeon-je/Pool)

Bryn Weese, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- How do you say "free trade" in Korean?

It appears Canada and South Korea are on the cusp of signing a free trade agreement within days, according to recent media reports.

The deal has been in the works since 2005. Talks stalled in 2008 when Korea banned Canadian beef following a mad cow disease scare. The ban was lifted in 2012, and negotiations resumed last fall.

It would be Canada's first free trade deal with an Asian-Pacific country. It would likely help Canada's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions, a larger trade pact in the works with 11 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam.

While a Korean agreement would come as great news for Canada's agriculture industry, which has been pushing to increase exports to the bourgeoning Korean market, Canada's auto industry has been fighting against it.


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