By: The Working Forest Staff
OTTAWA – The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has expressed its support for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The group says 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.
According to FPAC, forest products from Canada now face:
- 31% tariff in Vietnam for certain kinds of wood and up to 27% for paper.
- 40% tariff in Malaysia for plywood and up to 25% for paper.
- 10% tariff in Japan for wood products.
“The CPTPP will further increase access to key global markets for Canadian forest products,” says the CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor. “Fostering 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 14 per cent to more than $1.9 billion, with exports to Vietnam, New Zealand and Mexico growing the most by 152 per cent, 100 per cent and 39 per cent, 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,” says Nighbor.
FPAC urges the signing and speedy implementation by governments of this 21st-century deal.