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Promoting sustainable forest management through trade

CETA: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Canada-European Union)

CPTPP: Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

G7: The Group of Seven: a group of countries consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States

CUSMA: Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement

As global markets evolve to incorporate consumer demand for sustainably sourced forest products, Canada has a competitive edge on the international stage.

As an export-oriented economy and a world leader in forest exports, Canada is actively engaged in the international trading system, through membership in the World Trade Organization, as well as other bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

Canada has developed trade agreements with many new partners over the past decade. In fact, with CETA and CPTPP recently coming into force, Canada is the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with all other G7 countries.

Creating clear and transparent trading rules helps to increase the competitiveness of Canada’s forest sector in three ways: by reducing or eliminating tariff barriers, by providing mechanisms to settle disputes, and by including trade-enabling provisions.

Canada’s modern free trade agreements address trade-enabling factors that can benefit Canadian companies, such as regulatory cooperation, investment, trade in services and phytosanitary requirements. As part of its commitment to sustainable forest management, Canada has also started to include provisions highlighting the importance of trading in forest products derived from sustainably managed forests and legally harvested trees.

For example, CETA, CPTPP and CUSMA contain commitments to combat illegal logging and the associated illegal trade. Furthermore, both CUSMA and CETA have specific provisions that encourage trade of forest products from sustainably managed forests and highlight the important environmental functions that forests provide.

CPTPP and CUSMA also contain commitments to maintain or strengthen government capacity and institutional frameworks promoting sustainable forest management. In Canada, sustainable forest management decisions and activities are based on scientific research, rigorous planning processes and public consultation. Consequently, Canada is already a global leader in sustainable forest management, and Canadian companies have the opportunity to leverage this reputation and increase exports to international markets.

A cargo ship in port alongside a dock stacked with wood products.
Photo credits
  • Shipping lumber. Photo by pelicankate/iStock by Getty Images.

This article is from The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report 2019. Download the PDF version from our publications database.

Table of contents — The State of Canada's Forests Report

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