TPPA may open doors for pro­cessed wood prod­ucts

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

The for­est and wood pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries have wel­comed the re­moval of tar­iffs on wood prod­ucts across the 12 coun­tries of the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP).

“We have yet to see the de­tail, but we un­der­stand that all tar­iffs on logs and wood prod­ucts will be re­duced to zero. That rep­re­sents a $ 9 mil­lion sav­ing,” says Wood Coun­cil chair Bill McCal­lum.

“While this is not a huge sum in the con­text of a trade worth $1.5 bil­lion, we an­tic­i­pate there will be big­ger prizes aris­ing from the TPP Agree­ment. The fo­cus of the TPPA has been on tar­iff re­duc­tion and elim­i­na­tion, but with wood prod­ucts we sus­pect that non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers are a much greater impediment to trade. Tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers that have no sci­en­tific jus­ti­fi­ca­tion can pre­vent the im­port or use of im­ported wood prod­ucts. Sub­si­dies en­joyed by do­mes­tic wood pro­ces­sors can also make it im­pos­si­ble for im­ports to com­pete fairly.

“The TPP cre­ates a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship among the

s, • Light­weight (60% of weight of steel) • High­est Strength to Weight Ra­tio • Far greater Cor­ro­sion Re­sis­tance than Stain­less Steel – means

im­proved life-cy­cle cost­ings • Bio­com­pat­i­ble • 40-60% greater strength re­ten­tion than steels at el­e­vated

tem­per­a­tures (400degC) • Low ther­mal and elec­tric con­duc­tiv­ity (25%-33% of steel) • Non-Fer­rous and non-mag­netic • Near-net shape pro­cess­ing means far less wasted ma­te­rial. • Cost ef­fec­tive process at high vol­ume quan­ti­ties • Spe­cial cus­tom-made al­loys for a spe­cific spe­cial pur­pose par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries and we are hope­ful it will be­come a per­ma­nent fo­rum where other im­ped­i­ments to free trade, such as non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers can be over­come.”

The Wood Coun­cil re­cently ini­ti­ated a re­search project to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of th­ese bar­ri­ers in each po­ten­tial mar­ket.

An­other pos­i­tive the Coun­cil draws from the TPPA is the po­ten­tial it cre­ates for ex­porters of NZ pro­cessed wood prod­ucts to com­pete in mar­kets where they have un­til now been ex­cluded by tar­iffs that es­ca­late rapidly as value is added to a raw ma­te­rial.

“Th­ese lost op­por­tu­ni­ties are not in­cluded in the $ 9 mil­lion sav­ing, be­cause cur­rent tar­iffs make ex­ports un­prof­itable,” says McCal­lum.

“The Wood Coun­cil ap­pre­ci­ates the hard work of NZ Gov­ern­ment ne­go­tia­tors at the TPP talks. Once the agree­ment is rat­i­fied and be­comes law there will be im­me­di­ate small ben­e­fits for the for­est and wood pro­cess­ing sec­tor. Longer-term we hope to see much big­ger ben­e­fits.”

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