Canada risks trade spat with Japan over log export restrictions

Friday 7 Aug 2020

Canada risks trade spat with Japan over restrictions on log exports.

For as long as Canada has been harvesting trees, the issue of log exports has dogged politicians in that country. Now, a federal rule that forces private forest operators to offer a right of first refusal to domestic sawmills before obtaining export permits could lead to Canada’s first trade dispute under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The prospect of a trade spat with Japan puts additional pressure on Ottawa to relax export restrictions on raw logs. Vancouver-based Mosaic Forest Management has go on record to say its ability to operate remains threatened by Ottawa’s export rules. So far, the politicians in Canada's capital, Ottawa, appear unmoved by Mosaic’s pleadings.

Federal Canadian and BC restrictions on log exports have long been decried by the US lumber industry as an indirect subsidy to BC sawmills, leading to US duties on Canadian lumber. Some commentators suggest Ottawa should address Japan’s concerns before it’s forced to. It might not like the outcome otherwise.

Source: Globe and Mail via Tree Frog News

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