Lumber giant endorses free trade discussions

Canadian government looking to expand opportunities with Japan

  • Mar. 26, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Brad Thorlakson

Brad Thorlakson

A North Okanagan company believes new trade opportunities could be opening in Asia.

The federal government has announced that it is pursuing a free trade agreement between Canada and Japan.

“Japan is one of our largest and longest standing overseas customers,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko Industries president.

Over the past 30 years, Tolko has exported a broad range of forest products to Japan, including dimension and metric lumber, oriented strand board and plywood.

“An agreement that reduces barriers and increases competitiveness is welcome news to the Canadian forest industry and our workers,” said Thorlakson.

“Expanding our markets around the world is critical to the long term progress of our company and industry.”

Tolko now sells more than 40 per cent of its production overseas.

“We appreciate the government’s drive to move the country’s trade relations in a direction to further this effort to diversify,” said Thorlakson.

Vernon-based Tolko is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, and kraft papers, with manufacturing operations across Western Canada.