The agreement that ended many years of trade disputes over duties and other barriers to selling wood across the Canada-U.S. border was set to expire in 2013, but will be extended until 2015, and industry associations across Canada are pleased with the news.
President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Avrim Lazar, says the softwood agreement provides stability and predictability in terms of getting access to Canada’s most important market, the United States.
“The industry is of the view that at a time of ongoing market uncertainty, it is a good idea to extend the deal by another two years to provide a degree of certainty in market access to the U.S.,” Lazar commented.
In a statement released the same day of the announcement, Lazar notes that Canadian forest companies have gone through an economically challenging time with mill closures and job losses in the face of the global recession and the changing marketplace. However, the sector has had significant success in diversifying their markets, especially in Asia. Wood exports to China have increased by 46 times since 2000 and the sector is now the largest Canadian exporting industry to both India and China.
The U.S. still accounts for about two-thirds of the exports of Canadian forest products.