Following the wildfires that struck Fort McMurray, Alberta last May, the Government of Canada has announced it is taking action to assist Western Canadians affected by the steep price increases and supply shortages of building materials.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the Government has reduced anti-dumping duties on drywall from the United States into Western Canada by lowering the minimum import prices by more than 32 per cent. In addition, the Government will use the approximately $12 million in anti-dumping duties collected from September 2016 to January 2017 to provide monetary relief for Fort McMurray residents who are rebuilding their homes as a result of the wildfires, as well as builders and contractors in Western Canada that have been impacted by higher drywall costs.
The announcement comes as a response to recommendations from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), which found that the full amount of the anti-dumping duties on imported drywall from the U.S. was leaving businesses that use drywall with fewer choices, possibly leading to supply shortages in the region and harming consumers.
The duty reduction is intended to maintain competitive conditions in the Western Canada drywall market and reduce potential supply shortages, while ensuring a reasonable return on sales for domestic producers.
The Government’s actions complement the approximately $300 million it provided to Alberta through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program in July 2016, as well as the donations it made by matching individual donations to the Canadian Red Cross between May 3 and May 31, 2016, in support of the Fort McMurray wildfire relief effort.