FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2017
OTTAWA – Last week, the Liberal government announced an unspecified marginal reduction of duties on drywall imports into Western Canada and ignored important recommendations made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal in their report to the Finance Minister last month.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal made it clear last month when they ruled that Liberal duties imposed on drywall imported from the United States into Western Canada are contrary to Canada’s economic, trade or commercial interests, and that such duties have or will substantially reduce competition, or cause significant harm to consumers or businesses. Yet, the Finance Minister continues to impose those duties on Western Canadians already hard-hit by Liberal policies.
“The Finance Minister’s announcement delivers more questions than answers and is absent of detail regarding ongoing duty rates and critical information on refunds owed to Western Canadians and the people of Fort McMurray,” explained Gerry Ritz, Member of Parliament for Battlefords–Lloydminster and International Trade Critic. “A NAFTA binational panel has now been tasked to review this matter, a development I’m sure our country could do without going into NAFTA renegotiations.”
“There are no details on how a reimbursement program would be implemented or who exactly would qualify; there is no transparency on what precisely the new duties will be on drywall moving forward,” said Kevin Waugh, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Grasswood. “We must not forget that it was a Liberal government that created this whole mess in the first place and choosing not to cease duties as recommended by the Tribunal perpetuates the harm felt by my constituents.
“The reimbursement program is welcomed but I question why no details were provided and why the program won’t be available immediately,” said David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray–Cold Lake and Northern Affairs Critic. “It’s disappointing knowing how much the people of Fort McMurray have gone through and yet the Finance Minister chose not to provide the community a special remission for rebuilding efforts, something I fought hard for at my appearance before the Tribunal.”