By: The Working Forest Staff
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauds the Canadian government, and in particular Minister Champagne, on the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This agreement will benefit the Canadian forest products industry by eliminating tariffs, as well as providing clear provisions to help settle disputes and avoid unfair blocking of imports because of concerns about issues such as insects or other contaminants. For example, forest products from Canada now face:
- 31% tariff to Vietnam for certain kinds of wood, going down to 0% starting Year 1 and up to 27% for paper, which will be at 0% by Year 4.
- 40% tariff to Malaysia for plywood and up to 25% for paper, down to 0% by Year 6.
- 10% tariff to Japan for wood products, going down as low as 5% in Year 1 and 0% as early as Year 11.
“The CPTPP will increase Canadian forest products access to key global markets,” says CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor. “Growing exports will create more middle-class jobs in the over 600 forest-dependent communities across Canada and help the forest sector diversify its markets.”
Between 2012 and 2016 Canadian forest products, exports to the remaining members of TPP grew 18% to over $2 billion, with exports to Vietnam, New Zealand and Mexico growing the most by 312%, 90%, and 44%, respectively. FPAC believes that with the elimination of tariffs and strengthening trade relations between countries, Canadian forest products exports will grow even more.
“The sector is working hard to diversify its markets, especially beyond the United States who have enacted unfounded protectionist measures against our industry; and we encourage the government to continue with its efforts to extend freer trade and increase our country’s competitiveness,” says Nighbor. “Canada needs to be part of the first 6 countries to ratify the CPTPP in order to ensure we have first access to these growing markets.”
FPAC urges the speedy ratification by governments of this 21st-century deal.