OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes the government's acceptance into negotiations to reach a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) aimed at reaching a free trade deal with a group of important markets including Australia, Vietnam and Peru. Canadian forest companies recognize the need to deepen trade relations with these lucrative and growing consumer markets.
Increased exports are also essential for the forest products industry to reach its Vision2020 goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new innovations and growing markets
"Growing our exports to overseas markets is vital to our Vision and the future prospects of Canada's forest products sector," says Catherine Cobden, the President and CEO of FPAC. "We applaud the government's commitment to freeing up trade with this wide range of countries."
Exports of forest products from Canada are now worth $26.4 billion. Canada has a trade surplus in forest products of $17.2 billion, second only to oil and gas.
"We truly appreciate the important role the federal government has already played in supporting the sector's market diversification efforts overseas." says Cobden. "Exports of Canadian forest products are creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians especially in rural communities that rely on the health of the forest sector".
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.