Forestry is Critical to Canada’s Economic Future
Canada’s forest industry employs 209,000 Canadians across the country. The industry is estimated to have injected $10.8 billion into Canada’s payroll in 2018.
The forest sector directly accounted for $23 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2019. That same year, the forest industry exported approximately $36 billion in products globally; of that figure, approximately 68% was destined for the United States.
More than 600 Canadian communities rely on forestry. Half of those depend on forestry for at least 50% of household income. Around 160 of those communities are solely reliant on forestry as the main source of jobs and economic activity.
U.S. Duties are Hurting Workers and Communities
Since the imposition of softwood duties in 2017, Canada is estimated to have paid approximately $4 billion in duties.
In B.C., forestry is feeling the brunt of the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. In this province alone, exporters have paid an estimated $2 billion in duties since 2017. The industry has lost 11,000 jobs and lumber exports have decreased from 6.7 billion foot-board measure (FBM) to 5.5 billion FBM since the imposition of the duties in 2017.
In Ontario, producers have paid about $319 million in duties since 2017. The duties paid have deprived mills of much-needed cash. Some small-sized mills, like Kenora Forest Products, which has paid about $9 million in duties, were forced to cease their operations due to weakened cash flow.
In Quebec, the forest industry, which is more dependent on the pulp and paper sector than other regions of the country, has been in a precarious place over the last couple of years. Although Quebec maintains it should be exempt from paying duties (due to its market-oriented stumpage system), provincial producers have paid approximately $738 million in U.S. duties since 2017.
Note: figures reported above are accurate as of March 2020. Duties paid calculated by USW.