Representives of the extractive industries that drive Northwestern Ontario’s economy believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will bring them prosperity.
The TPPA deal signed in Atlanta on Sunday will lock Canada into a free trade area of 12 countries on both shores of the Pacific Ocean. Together, they encompass two-fifths of the entire global economy.
Forest Products Association of Canada president David Lindsay expects accessing new markets could net his industry $20 billion by 2020.
Canadian forestry exports to China have increased 1,000 per cent since 2005 and the sector has become Canada’s top exporter to Asia. Removing tariffs in Pacific nations — some of which are as high as 40 per cent — will open those economies to further export.
“The forest products industry in Canada has always been one of the country’s major exporters and this agreement is an historic opportunity to improve access to rapidly growing markets in the Asia Pacific,” Lindsay said in a release.
“The TPP can only help us further sharpen our edge and be more competitive in these emerging markets for the benefit of jobs and prosperity in Canada.”
Mining Association of Canada president Pierre Gratton credited the North American Free Trade Act with the United States and Mexico as well as bilateral trade deals with countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa for 20 years of increasing exports in Canada’s mining industry.
“The rest of the world looks to Canada as a leader when it comes to mining,” Gratton said in a release. “Part of maintaining that global leadership is ensuring that the Canadian mining and supply sectors have access to modern and comprehensive trade and investment vehicles to meet the world where it does business.”
Metal and mineral exports averaged $158.6 billion per year between 2012 and 2014 and Gratton sees opportunity for growth as new markets drop tariffs. Vietnam, for example, applies 40 per cent tariffs to Canadian mining products.Malaysia can charge up to 50 per cent.
He also sees room for expansion in more developed economies like Japan and Australia as well, who will have to drop their 7.9 and five per cent tariffs, respectively.