Canada launches second drywall dumping complaint investigation in two years

CALGARY — A Canadian drywall manufacturer has launched its second trade complaint in two years alleging that the building panels are being dumped by U.S. competitors at unfair prices.

The Canada Border Services Agency says it is investigating the complaint by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., concerning 54-inch-wide gypsum boards being imported for sale in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The complaint is similar to one concerning 48-inch-wide boards in the summer of 2016 by the company, which is part of the Pennsylvania-based North American division of building supply giant Saint-Gobain S.A. of Paris.

In that case, preliminary tariffs were imposed on U.S. imports and then reduced after being blamed for as much as a 50 per cent increase in the price of drywall, a level that was thought to pose a hardship for homeowners trying to rebuild after the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfires of the previous spring.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal found that while U.S. firms had dumped drywall in Canada at discounted prices over several years, maintaining duties would not be in the country’s trade interests.

CertainTeed says on its website that U.S. importers are selling 54-inch drywall — used to construct interior walls that are up to nine feet tall — so cheaply that it is prevented from investing in equipment to produce 54-inch boards at its Western Canada manufacturing plants in Calgary, Winnipeg and Delta, B.C.

“U.S. dumping of 54-inch drywall in Western Canada is distorting the western Canadian drywall market and preventing new investments and jobs,” said CEO Matt Walker in a statement.

The company said the earlier ruling and imposition of permanent variable duties on 48-inch drywall to ensure a stable floor price has allowed it to invest and create jobs at its western factories.

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