Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and international framework of forest(2016/1/16)

On 5th of October 2015, 12 negotiating countries of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) announced that the agreement has been concluded after the chief negotiators meeting.

General interest on this agreement is about free market access, however, this website has a perspective on environmental agenda as well as forest management and timber trade and here is some internal links to the previous articles.

7. Environemntal Impact Assessment of Trade Liberation
7-9. Another aspect of TPP – discussion of environment treaty(2014/3/30)
7-7. Points to note to get involved with TPP(2012/3/25)

At this time, not all of the agreed contents are on public yet, but this is what has been available thus far.
(Edit: On Nov 5, the entire agreement was published by the US government)

Source: Cabinet Secretariat TPP Headquarters
 •Update of TPP reached agreement
      •"TPP Ministers' Statement" (published on 5 Oct 2015)
            Tentative Japanese version [PDF:114KB]    English Original [PDF:37KB]
      •"Summary of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (Tentative edition)"
        (published on 5 Oct 2015)

      Tentative Jpaanese version [PDF:309KB]  English Original [PDF:118KB]
      •Summary of the TPP agreement by government of Japan (updated version in Japanese) [PDF:3110KB]
        (Previous version can be found from here (Japanese))
      •The list of exchanged documents with TPP negotiators (Japanese) [PDF:156KB]
    [ Result of tariff negotiation ]
      •The result of tariff negotiation in TPP [PDF:267KB]

The result of agriculture, forestry and fisheries market access negotiation (1st update in Japanese•PDF:903KB)

Additional materials (2nd update in Japanese•PDF:1,289KB)

The last update, 20 Oct 2015 (All in Japanese)


From above materials, I picked up the agreed items related to forest and forest products.

(Agenda of tariff on forest products)

 

Round wood and sawn timber are no duty commodities. On the other hand, a part of sawn timber, plywood and laminated lumber are customable from the rate of 3.9 to 10% (Summary by Fprest Agency. Japanese).

TPP agreed 100% duty free of industrial products including timber (The result of tariff negotiation), but there is the special attention on process of elimination of tariffs on plywood and sawn timber and so forth Summary of the result of negotiation on forest products(Department in charge: Forestry Agency)(PDF:204KB)

For plywood (6~10% at presence), it concluded to introduce the 10 years step-wise approached schedule, which aims to eliminate the tariff at the 11th year.
Moreover, in case of import from major producing countries such as Malaysia, 50% reduction will be done at the time of enactment, and 100% elimination at the 16th year. Also if the amount of import will rapidly grow, the special safeguard will be in place to set the tariff back.
In a similar way, SPF lumber will be duty free in 11 years (10 years schedule). And also the import from major producer Canada, similar safeguard will be duty free in 16 years and the safeguard will be in place when needed.

(Round wood export management)

When British Colombia banned the round wood export in principle, the price of raw material got lower than international market, there was the bilateral agreement and it has now changed to "comply with application of export" in accordance with procedures.

(Environment Chapter)

The summary of TPP (tentative) includes all 30 Chapters of the agreement, and the Chapter 20 is about the environment.
It is an important point that environment perspective is included in FTA to avoid the environment disruption such as overexploitation of natural resources by trade liberation. I would like to emphasize another important point that how far we can achieve the collaboration of forest management.

 20. Environment
As home to a significant portion of the world's people, wildlife, plants and marine species, TPP Parties share a strong commitment to protecting and conserving the environment, including by working together to address environmental challenges, such as pollution, illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal fishing, and protection of the marine environment.

 The 12 Parties agree to effectively enforce their environmental laws; and not to weaken environmental laws in order to encourage trade or investment. They also agree to fulfil their obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and to take measures to combat and cooperate to prevent trade in wild fauna and flora that has been taken illegally.

 In addition, the Parties agree to promote sustainable forest management, and to protect and conserve wild fauna and flora that they have identified as being at risk in their territories, including through measures to conserve the ecological integrity of specially protected natural areas, such as wetlands.

 In an effort to protect their shared oceans, TPP Parties agree to sustainable fisheries management, to promote conservation of important marine species, including sharks, to combat illegal fishing, and to prohibit some of the most harmful fisheries subsidies that negatively affect overfished fish stocks, and that support illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing.

 They also agree to enhance transparency related to such subsidy programs, and to make best efforts to refrain from introducing new subsidies that contribute to overfishing or overcapacity.

 TPP Parties also agree to protect the marine environment from ship pollution and to protect the ozone layer from ozone depleting substances.

 They reaffirm their commitment to implement the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) they have joined.

 The Parties commit to provide transparency in environmental decision-making, implementation and enforcement.

 In addition, the Parties agree to provide opportunities for public input in implementation of the Environment chapter, including through public submissions and public sessions of the Environment Committee established to oversee chapter implementation.

 The chapter is subject to the dispute settlement procedure laid out in the Dispute Settlement chapter.

 The Parties further agree to encourage voluntary environmental initiatives, such as corporate social responsibility programs.
Finally, the Parties commit to cooperate to address matters of joint or common interest, including in the areas of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and transition to low-emissions and resilient economies.

"The Parties commit to promote conservation and to combat the illegal take of, and illegal trade in, wild fauna and flora…. Including combating illegal logging", "further commits to … maintain or strengthen government capacity and institutional frameworks to promote sustainable forest management" – it attracts attention how these commitments will be implemented.