TORONTO – There is optimism in Ontario’s forest sector. The Ontario Government’s change on building regulation to permit wood frame structures up to six stories has helped.
As a broad supporter of free trade, today, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is welcoming the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
The sector will benefit from the eventual elimination of European tariffs on some wood panels such as particle board, oriented strand board and plywood of up to 10%.
“The forest products industry has always relied on exports for its prosperity and growth and we certainly appreciate the federal government’s ongoing commitment to free trade,” says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. “We are working hard to diversify markets and increase our trade to help reach the ambitious goals of our Vision2020 initiative and as part of that we welcome closer trade relations with Europe.”
Under Vision2020, Canada’s forest product industry is vying to generate an additional $20 billion in new revenue through new products and new markets by the end of the decade. Last year the Canadian forest sector exported more than $1 billion of wood, pulp and paper products to the EU member states. This is 4% of total exports of Canadian forest products making Europe the 3 rd largest international market for the sector. The largest importers of Canadian forest products in Europe are the United Kingdom followed by Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
FPAC is also looking forward to learning more about how the specific Annex on forest products will help guard against non-tariff barriers to trade.
“We are now hoping for speedy ratification of CETA by governments and prompt implementation of this landmark deal,” says Lindsay.
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.