On June 8, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) initiated an anti-dumping case against gypsum board originating in, or exported from, the United States of America into Canada for use in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon Territories or the Northwest Territories.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) will now conduct a Preliminary Injury inquiry within the next 60 days. In the Preliminary Injury inquiry, the CITT looks at whether the complaint discloses a reasonable indication of injury. Normally, the CITT will consider issues on (1) scope, (2) classes of goods and (3) evidentiary issues.

This is a very curious case since it is regional in scope. It alleges that U.S. produced gypsum board is being dumped and is causing injury, but only in Western Canada. Very few regional injury cases have been filed because they tend to raise a multitude of complications in reference to tracking the trade flows from one region of Canada to another. This case presents many challenges, no doubt, and while most U.S. exporters will react with consternation that they are accused of dumping, they must mount a defense of their activities in Canada in order to avoid being penalized with large duties on import.

The complaint was filed by CertainTeed Gypsum operating out of Mississauga in Eastern Canada. The complaint that triggered the dumping investigation alleges that U.S. wallboard manufacturers are dumping their products in Western Canada at substantially below-market prices compared to what they charge customers in the U.S., according to Mike Loughrey, a spokesman for Malvern, PA-based CertainTeed Corp., the Canadian company’s parent firm.

“Our actions are meant to stop this practice and bring a level playing field to the Western Canadian marketplace by having all manufacturers conform to regulatory and legal requirements,” Loughrey told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail. “Due to the early nature of the proceedings, we can offer no additional comment on this matter.”

The investigation applies to goods classified under Canada Customs Tariff No. 6809.11.00.10, which covers gypsum wallboard, faced or reinforced with paper or paperboard only. Those goods have duty-free access to the Canadian market under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canadian importers of the allegedly dumped products have until June 29 to respond to the allegations, and U.S. exporters of the goods until July 15. Below is the list of potential exporters from the USA as defined by the complainant:

  1. Continental Building Products, Inc., 12950 Woeldgate Drive, Suite 700, Herndon, Virginia, USA, 20170
  2. Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC (“GP”) 133 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30303
  3. USG Corporation (“USG”) 550 West Adams Street Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60661-3676
  4. National Gypsum Company (“NGC”) !2001 Rexford Road, Charlotte North Carolina, USA, 28211
  5. PABCO Gypsum, a division of PABCO 1PO Box 419074, Building Products, LLC Rancho Cordova, California, USA
  6. American Gypsum Company (“AGC”) a subsidiary of Eagle Materials, 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas, USA, 75219

A preliminary finding as to whether or not the complaint discloses a reasonable indication that the alleged injurious dumping of gypsum board, sheet or panel from the USA has caused injury, or is threatening to cause injury into Western Canada, will be made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal on August 5, 2016. The CBSA`s preliminary determination of dumping will be made by September 6, 2016, and the matter should go to a final determination in early December of this year.