We assess the ability of Cashore, Auld, and Newsom's theoretical framework on "Nonstate Market-Driven" (NSMD) governance to explain the emergence of and support for forest certification in Finland. In contrast to Sweden's experience, the environmental group-initiated international forest certification program, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), failed to gain significant support. Instead, the commercial forest sector created and adopted the Finnish Forest Certification Program, which domestic and international environmental groups ultimately rejected as inadequate. The NSMD framework must better incorporate two key findings. First, the dependence of international markets on the targeted country's forest products can shape domestic certification choices. We found that the largely non-substitutable qualities of Finnish paper products gave the domestic sector greater leeway in responding to international pressures. Second, whether the FSC is being championed primarily to influence a country's domestic forestry debates or indirectly as a lever with which to improve forest practices elsewhere appears to permeate the forest sector's overall receptiveness to the FSC.