Despite the worsening fracas over softwood imports, the United States and Canada remain each other’s most important trade partners in wood products.
The ways trust and dependency, economic and price uncertainties and legal contracts influence business-to-business relationships between the two countries is the subject of research led by Dorothy Paun, a University of Washington associate professor of forest resources and the first-ever holder of a Fulbright award specifically created for the study of Canadian-US trade.
Paun’s Fulbright Pacific Northwest Chair in Canada-U.S. Trade is part of the Distinguished Chairs Program, which the Fulbright Web site calls the most prestigious of its scholar programs. Paun is working this winter at the University of British Columbia with Canadian colleagues on a study of how perceptions and expectations vary between buyers and sellers. While forest products is the focus of the first research phase, the business-to-business model could extend to other industries in the future, she says.
“To minimize the expense of searching for new buyers, which can cost six times more than selling to existing buyers, firms are relying less on one-time, discrete market transactions and more on interfirm business-to-business arrangements,” Paun says. “This study could provide guidance on how to avoid poorly designed and executed purchasing and sales agreements that can cause conflict in buyer-seller relationships.” Part of the work will identify successful relationships that can provide how-to prescriptions for other firms.
Paun teaches courses in both the UW’s College of Forest Resources and the Business School. She has previously been a visiting professor of international marketing at Brocconi University in Italy and the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration in Finland. Prior to her academic career, she was a stockbroker and a park ranger.
For more information: Paun, (206) 685-9467, email@example.com