The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased with the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it could pave the way to further diversifying markets and expanding exports.
The comprehensive trade agreement reached with 12 countries was announced in Atlanta today.
"The forest products industry in Canada has always been one of the country's major exporters and this agreement is an historic opportunity to improve access to rapidly growing markets in the Asia Pacific", says David Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC.
Significant tariffs on forest products still exist in several of the Pacific markets with tariffs of up to 10% on wood and other forestry products in Japan, while Vietnam applies tariffs of up to 31%, Malaysia of up to 40%, Australia and New Zealand of up to 5% and Brunei up to 20%.
Canada exports more than $22.6 billion/year to TPP countries and this is expected to grow because of the new trade deal.
"The forest products industry has already had great success in the Asian market – for example we increased our lumber exports to China by more than 1000% over the last decade and our sector is now Canada's number one exporter to Asia" says Lindsay. "The TPP can only help us further sharpen our edge and be more competitive in these emerging markets for the benefit of jobs and prosperity in Canada."
Lindsay says this will also help the forest sector reach the ambitious Vision2020 goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity through new products and new markets.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
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For more read the Tree Talk blog: http://www.fpac.ca/forestry-news-canada/blog/