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Harper arrives in South Korea for expected free trade announcement


March 10, 2014  by The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has arrived in Seoul, where he is widely expected to announce a free-trade deal with South Korea.

A South Korean delegation greeted Harper on Monday as he stepped off his aircraft after a 20-plus hour trip from Ottawa.

There’s no word yet on whether Harper plans to sign the final text of a free-trade deal with South Korea or is simply going to announce an agreement-in-principle in a staged photo-op.

A free-trade agreement with South Korea – which Harper says is a gateway to deals with other Asian countries – has been a decade in the making.

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One major sticking point is the auto sector, with Canada having a 6.1 per cent tariff on car imports. Critics fear that if it is removed, the Canadian market would be flooded with Korean-made brands such as Hyundai and Kia.

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