Trade Tribunal Imposes Reduced but Permanent Duties on Drywall/Gypsum Board Imports

In September 2016 the Canadian Border Services Agency imposed provisional anti-dumping tariffs of up to 276% on imported U.S. gypsum board and drywall.  These duties were imposed against imported US product which was thought to have been ‘dumped’ into Canada at below fair market prices to the detriment of the Canadian industry.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled yesterday that drywall/gypsum board had indeed been dumped and ruled that duties will remain on the product, but at a much lower level due to the hardship caused by them.

The provisional duties will be temporarily removed until July 5th to allow already-agreed-upon fixed term contracts to be completed. After July 5th (or earlier if a threshold of import amounts is reached) a permanent variable duty (not to exceed 43%) will be imposed on any product that is sold below a predetermined floor price.

The Tribunal also ruled that a refund mechanism will be created to reimburse purchasers for the higher costs of drywall and gypsum board during the provisional period.

The Burnaby Board of Trade was concerned with the provisional tariffs because they would result in increased costs to builders/contractors in Western Canada who would either have to absorb the increase, or pass it along to consumers and exacerbating the problem of housing affordability. This was particularly concerning for any companies which may have signed fixed-term contracts for work with pricing that was set before these duties were imposed.

Because of outspoken advocacy on this issue by the Boards of Trade/Chambers of Commerce networks across BC and Canada, of which the BBOT is an active member, the federal government made the rare move in late 2016 of speeding up the process to determine if the tariffs should remain by several months resulting in yesterday’s ruling.

Read the Tribunal’s full decision here: