April 30 2012, OTTAWA
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today expressed its strong support for the Government’s ambitious pro-trade agenda including the near complete Canada-European Union Free Trade Agreement (CETA).
"This agreement will eliminate a quota and tariff on Canadian plywood and will help secure access to key countries for the industry’s other product lines.” said Catherine Cobden, the President and CEO of FPAC. “The agreement will make the industry’s exports to the EU more competitive and that’s good news for the industry and the more than 230,000 Canadians it directly employs cross the country,” Cobden added.
Last year the Canadian forest sector exported $1.2 billion of wood, pulp and paper products to the EU member states, making it the 3rd largest international market for Canadian forest products. Canadian plywood products are now subject to a quota and tariff regime which erode the industry’s competitive position relative to other suppliers. Eliminating these barriers would restore the industry’s competitive position in the EU market which annually imports 23 billion euros worth of forest products.
“As an industry we’re focused on transforming the way we do business and expanding international markets is a critical component to achieving that goal.” said Cobden. “The CETA is a significant initiative that will greatly assist the industry in this transformation. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast are to be commended for their aggressive trade agenda. It will greatly accelerate the industry’s capacity to secure greater market share in existing and new markets around the world.”
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-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.