Tribunal rules that Liberal duties on drywall hurts Western Canada

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled on January 4, 2017 that duties imposed on drywall imported from the United States to Western Canada are contrary to Canada’s economic, trade or commercial interests. The Tribunal’s report found that such duties have or will substantially reduce competition, or cause significant harm to consumers or businesses.

Conservatives were the only Members of Parliament representing the interests of their constituents by participating in the Tribunal’s public inquiry.

“I’m pleased that we were able to detail the harm drywall duties as high as 276% were causing our communities,” said Gerry Ritz, Member of Parliament for Battlefords–Lloydminster and International Trade Critic. “We were seeking the elimination or a reduction of tariffs and the Tribunal heard us loud and clear, recommending in its report an immediate temporary elimination of duties and a drastic reduction of any future duties the Finance Minister chooses to impose.”

“These duties were a shock to businesses in my riding and fixed-price contracts meant people either took a loss or jobs were cancelled all together,” said Kevin Waugh, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Grasswood. “I hope the Liberal government reflects on the outcome of their actions and takes into consideration Canada’s economy and Canadian jobs the next time they sign off on something.”

“The people of Fort McMurray have been through enough; more expensive drywall and supply issues are making things much worse,” said David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray–Cold Lake and Northern Affairs Critic. “I’m glad I was able to bring up these concerns to the tribunal to secure a special remission for the Fort McMurray region and the people in my riding. This exemption needs to be implemented as soon as possible.”

The report has been provided to the Liberal government by the Tribunal and the Finance Minister must now make a decision regarding the recommendations.
Tribunal recommendations:
•Duties on drywall collected between September 6, 2016 and January 3, 2017, be refunded to cover the higher costs of drywall purchased.
•As of January 4, 2016 duties cease for 6 months or until a maximum import volume is reached on a per cooperating importer basis.
•Any duties applied on importers should not exceed 43% and should be subject to future review and reconsideration.
•That the Government grant a special remission on drywall for the rebuilding of the Fort McMurray region until December 31, 2019.
Full report and finding can be found on the Canadian International Trade Tribunal website: