In spite of a side deal to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), intended to ensure stable supply, log exports from Canada to Japan have dropped significantly in recent months. According to Japan’s Lumber Importers’ Association shipments from Canada fell -77% on the year in the period between January and May 2020. In fact, no logs were shipped at all in April, and May’s shipments were just 5% of the previous year. The recent plunge has been attributed to a decrease in Canadian production, caused by protracted strikes and other factors. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is reviewing the situation. The Ministry could choose to file a formal complaint with the Canadian government if it finds that Ottawa is refusing to issue export permits without a valid reason, which would be the first documented violation of the TPP.
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