Federal drywall tariff in Western Canada raises costs

Federal drywall tariff in Western Canada raises costs.

VICTORIA — Drywall prices across Western Canada have shot through the roof after the federal government imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs of up to 276% on gypsum board products imported from the US.

Builders and suppliers fear the ruling could disrupt the supply of the boarding used in walls and ceilings and threaten the completion of residential, commercial and public projects. The tariffs also risk bankrupting contractors who operate under fixed-priced contracts.

A spokesman for Canada’s largest independent gypsum supplier said the tariffs undermines the stability of the industry and could impact the rebuilding efforts in Fort McMurray, where thousands of buildings were destroyed by fire earlier this year.

“If we can’t get enough material to ship into the province of Alberta then as Fort McMurray stands, it would be affected like everybody else,” said Doug Skrepnek, chief executive officer at WSB Titan in a telephone interview from Vaughan, Ont.

He said the surprise decision on tariffs hammered the industry.

“On Sept. 6 we went from understanding there may be a tariff to there is a tariff and that tariff will add between 50% and 60%, depending upon the market, price increase to our customers,” said Skrepnek, whose company supplies one in every six sheets of drywall used in Canada.

The Canada Border Services Agency imposed preliminary tariffs last Tuesday on US gypsum board imported into Canada for use in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

A CBSA statement = said Canadian producers have legislated rights to seek protection from dumped imports by way of duties.

“Following a complaint filed on April 18, 2016, by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., the CBSA initiated an investigation on June 6, 2016,” said the statement. “The CBSA made a preliminary determination of dumping on September 6, 2016 and provisional duties were imposed at that time to offset the dumping.”

No one from CertainTeed Gypsum Canada was immediately available for comment.

Skrepnek said CertainTeed has gypsum production plants in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg, but the operations are only able to supply between 40% and 60% of the building needs in Western Canada.

The limited supply of CertainTeed gypsum in Western Canada is one reason why US product is imported into Canada, he said.

The CBSA decision is under review for the next three months, but the import duty will remain until a final decision is made, Skrepnek said.

“It is my hope and my desire someone listens and realizes there are thousands of people who really can’t wait 90 days for someone to realize this is a massive issue that needs to be dealt with today,” he said.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016
2 Comments » for Federal drywall tariff in Western Canada raises costs
  1. ray says:

    good to see prices are not going up in the east, they fully support our new happy happy ways government and should reap the benefits. Put a new slant on “freezing in the dark”

  2. RG Allan says:

    In regards to the Drywall Dumping report !
    Allowing a complaint(CertainTeed Gypsum) by a company who is essentially a branch plant of a foreign owner conglomerate (Saint Gobain) to adversely affect the entire building industry in “select” parts of Canada should be considered as treason and effectively a legal battle should ensue between the Western Canadian building industry and the CBSA. The CBSA should not be subject to deciding those trade disputes by itself as it affects both industry and small business economies.
    The report should also be subject to 3rd party analysis outlining pricing policies and effective cost data supplied by industry, in many cases directly by those manufacturing operations. And by allowing what amounts to unfair tariff’s to be levied only in specific areas is by definition un democratic process and indicates an unfair trade bias by CBSA in favour of a singular manufacturer. The CBSA tribunal board should be shamed for their outlandishly arrogant mindless use of discretionary laws and promptly fired.

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