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Canada has reduced anti-dumping duties on drywall imported from the US into Western Canada, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced.
Morneau said that the Government is helping Western Canadians affected by the price increases and supply shortages of building materials caused by the anti-dumping duties imposed on imported drywall from the US.
Effective February 24, the Government established new minimum import prices ("reference values") applicable to drywall imported from the US for use or consumption in Western Canada. These reference values are 32.17 percent lower than the normal values originally established as part of the anti-dumping investigation.
The Government said the duty reduction is intended to maintain competitive conditions in the Western Canadian drywall market and mitigate the potential for supply shortages, while also ensuring a reasonable return on sales for domestic producers. It will review the reduced duty level in a year's time.
The anti-dumping duties were first imposed in September 2016. However, concerns were soon raised that the duties threatened the stability of the Western Canadian construction industry and could affect rebuilding efforts in Fort McMurray following the wildfires.
In October 2016, the Government asked the Canadian International Trade Tribunal to conduct an inquiry into whether the imposition of these anti-dumping duties was contrary to Canada's economic, trade, or commercial interests. The Tribunal found that the duties were leading to potential supply shortages and harming consumers.
The Government said that it will use the approximately CAD12m (USD9.1m) in anti-dumping duties collected between September 2016 and January 2017 to provide monetary relief for Fort McMurray residents who are rebuilding their homes, as well as for builders and contractors in Western Canada adversely affected by higher drywall costs.
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