Globalizations and the S.L.A. Essay

3047 Words Apr 10th, 2013 13 Pages
This essay examines Canada’s lumber industry, the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the US and how globalization, the industry and the agreement all play a factor in each other’s functions. This essay is not a detailed examination of Canada’s softwood lumber agreement but a generalized examination of how globalization influences and affects the lumber industry, and in turn, the softwood lumber agreement.

Executive Summary
Logging 200 years ago was a booming industry and started a chain reaction to building our nation. Today, technology and government regulations have changed how logs are harvested but the industry’s core function remains the same, to harvest logs for sale. Today the US is Canada’s largest lumber market, but once
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Canadian lumber was being sold domestically and abroad; and exports peaked to Britain after Britain had depleted its own resources. Fueled by the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), the British sought Canadian lumber for ship building and lumber became Canada’s most important commodity (surpassing fur trading and fishing). The boom in logging and immigration brought peripheral industries (e.g. agriculture) and the expansion of Canada accelerated (e.g. Canada’s population increased by more than three million people in a span of sixty years from 1806-1867).
Two hundred years ago logging was seasonal work, loggers would fall trees during the winter so horses could transport logs over the snow to frozen rivers, when in the spring logs would float down the river to awaiting saw mills. With the advent of heavy equipment (semi-trucks, delimbers, skidders, etc.), today logging can be done anywhere and during anytime of the year and is no longer dependent on Canada’s river systems for transporting logs.

Canada’s Lumber Industry Today
According the Forest Products Association of Canada, the lumber industry employs 593,200 people directly and indirectly (see Figure 1), and 192 communities are dependent on the lumber industry for their economic prosperity (and survival).
Figure 1

Forest Products Association of Canada. Retrieved from:

The lumber industry produces a wide range of wood products

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