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Drywall tariff impacting southern Alberta consumers and builders

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WATCH ABOVE: It has been a couple of months since new tariffs were imposed on drywall coming into Canada. The impact is being felt here in Lethbridge, where one small businessman is growing ever more concerned about his future. Sarah Komadina has more – Nov 8, 2016

In September, a tariff was issued on drywall coming from the U.S. to western Canada, spiking prices anywhere from 105 to 276 per cent.

Cutting Edge Solutions Drywall owner Lance Kozak, out of Lethbridge, puts drywall up in over 100 houses a year but these are trying times.

“I’m worried,” Kozak said. “It’s not going to be the easiest time to bid and quote, and (then) have people okay with these price increases.”

The Canadian Border Services Agency implemented the tax after a complaint from CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc, alleging U.S. producers were dumping product into the market.

“Depending on the cost of the tariff, we can see a new home rising in the thousands depending on the size,” Angela Zuba, CEO of the  Canadian Home Builders Association, Lethbridge Region, said.

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“When you add the rising cost of regulations, the new mortgage rules and now this drywall tariff, it’s just making it harder and harder for people to get into a new home.  It affects mostly the first time home buyer.”

READ MORE: New tariff driving up the price of drywall by up to 276% 

Kozak will join other industry players in meeting with the finance minister in Edmonton at the end of this month to voice their concerns.

A duty review is also underway by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

“What this tariff has done, it’s enabled drywall manufacturers to be able to increase their prices. So regardless to whether or not this tariff stay increases or goes away, there are going to be significant increases to the prices of drywall.” Zuba said.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray rebuild threatened after feds impose drywall tariff

A decision is expected in January on whether or not the tariff will be implemented.

As for Kozak and many others the damage is already done.

“It’s just something that really didn’t need to happen,” Kozak said.

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