A new federal anti-dumping tariff on drywall is causing some concern for local contractors.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) imposed the tax on Sept. 6, 2016 following a complaint from a company alleging U.S. producers were dumping product into the Canadian market.
For just over a month now, any new drywall imported for use in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories has seen a price increase of up to 276%
Manager of Dal-Tek Interiors Ltd. Stacy Dallyn says they're seeing a price increase of about 42% right now, based on materials coming out of Eastern Canada. However, anything brought up from the U.S. is seeing about a 75% increase.
He says his company hasn't experienced too much hardship from the increase, as most projects they have on the go are almost complete.
"We're not really super affected by it, we have a lot of large projects that are all winding down at the same time, so thankfully we didn't have to load them up with a lot of drywall," he says. "Any new projects moving forward obviously we'll increase our quotes."
He shares Dal-Tek Interiors Ltd. does strictly commercial work, so passing the cost on to the buyers hasn't been a big issue. But residential builders margins are a lot lower than what commercial contractors are running with.
"I've talked to many people in that industry, and they say they're facing a lot of grief from the people they work for."
Dallyn isn't too worried now, but problems may arise in the future as there has been no official ruling in respect to who will foot the bill for the tariff.
"Everybody would feel a lot more comfortable if there was some official ruling that states this is a tariff, it's a tax and it should to be passed on to the end user, but right now nothing's really in place that's why everybody is kinda up in the air with it. Some contractors say yeah no problem, some are saying no we're not responsible because they already have a contract. So I think there needs to be something written from the government clearly stating who's responsible to pick up the cost of this."
An appeal to the tariff is underway, but there will be no decision made until December.