Mission Chamber hosts drywall duty meeting

Members’ forum set for Oct. 27 to discuss border services decision.

The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce is contacting the local construction industry following the recent decision by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to impose a “provisional duty” on all drywall products imported to Canada from U.S. producers.

“Our members are deeply concerned because building contractors placed bids on jobs long before this duty was suddenly imposed,” said chamber president David Sawatzky.

“It could stall new housing starts and drive up the price of renovations that will ultimately hurt both consumers and the local construction industry.”

On Sept. 6, 2016, CBSA made a preliminary decision that imports of drywall from the U.S. were being dumped into Canada for use in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In response to this discovery, the CBSA implemented new provisional duties to all drywall coming into western Canada.

According to the chamber, it could result in an estimated margin of dumping/duty ranges between 105.2 and 276.5 per cent.

On Jan. 4, 2017, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal will make a final determination as to the extent of injury, if any, to domestic producers due to imported drywall and the appropriate level of provisional duties to alleviate the issue. In the meantime, the tariff/duty stands, and the only way it would change before Jan. 4 is to have the federal government intervene.

The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce government affairs committee would like to meet with business members directly affected by this new tariff/duty to discuss the impact this is having on their business.

“The unintended consequences of this decision are far-reaching and can be devastating to many local businesses. I would encourage as many of our members in the housing and construction sector to engage with the chamber at this member forum so we can get a better understanding of the full effect this is having on all businesses both big and small,” said Tony Luck, chair of the committee.

The Mission Chamber is hosting a members’ forum on Oct. 27 at 8 a.m at the Mission chamber boardroom, 34033 Lougheed Highway.  All businesses affected by this issue in any way are encouraged to attend. Please register by phone at 604-826-6914 or email info@missionchamber.bc.ca.