Harper arrives in South Korea for expected free-trade announcement

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Harper arrives in South Korea for expected free-trade announcement

SEOUL, South Korea - 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.

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.

Organizations: Hyundai

Geographic location: South Korea, SEOUL, Ottawa Canada

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