Canada’s wood products producers are on the way of signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership backed up by the Trudeau government. The agreement would be made between Canada, Australia, Japan and other Asian countries. The next step is to debate the TPP in the House of Commons. Christia Freeland, International Trade Minister, said that this would be the next technical step, according to Merritt Herald.
Paul Lansbergen, acting president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said that the government should think about the diversification of the economy when it comes to rough times, especially oil and gas.
“All in all we think this is a pretty good agreement. A lot of our industry is in rural Canada, and I think it’s important for the government to recognize the importance of the well-paying jobs that we provide. And when our economy is having some rough times, particularly oil and gas, really the government should be thinking about how our economy is diversified,” Lansbergen said.
In an interview from Vancouver, Lansbergen said that the TPP eliminates the tariffs against Canada forest products. Moreover, it also has plans to settle disputes and exclude blocking imports due to concerns about insects or other contaminants, as reported by Merritt Herald. Some of the partners involved in the agreement have very little products imports from Canada due to the prohibitive tariffs.
The TPP would thus eliminate de tariffs implied by Vietnam (31%), Malaysia (40%) or Brunei (20%). Japan, which imports a lot of lumber from B.C., has tariffs up to 10% on forestry or products like oriented strandboard and engineered wood.