JAMA Canada, the association representing Japanese automakers in Canada, congratulates the Government of Canada on signing the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Commenting on the completion of the agreement, Jerry Chenkin, Chairman of JAMA Canada said: “The agreement is a gateway into the Asia-Pacific region and represents another step towards securing and strengthening Canada’s economic partnerships with countries in the region.

“With the successful conclusion of the agreement with Korea – an initiative supported by JAMA Canada and its members – we continue to encourage the Canadian government to turn its attention towards the swift completion of an economic partnership agreement with Japan.

“Trade agreements are critical to maintain competitiveness in the Canadian market and to ensuring an equitable and balanced playing field for those investing and doing business in Canada.”

Built on a strong legacy of trade liberalization in North America, Japanese automakers have been investing in Canada since the mid-1980s. Several Japanese automakers have established world-class assembly plants and more than 50 Japanese parts-related plants have been set up in Canada. In addition, a network of more than 1,250 dealerships in every province has created countless jobs in communities big and small. More than 68,000 Canadians are employed through the manufacture, sale, service, distribution, export or import of Japanese vehicles in Canada.

A key part of any trade agreement is a phasing out of tariffs. While two of every three Japanese brand vehicles are built in North America, one third are imported from Japan to meet the wide ranging transportation needs of Canadians. Currently, a 6.1 per cent tariff is imposed on these vehicles. With the expectation that automobiles from the EU and South Korea will enter Canada free of tariffs, a bilateral trade agreement with Japan is critical to maintaining equitable treatment.