B.C. homeowners can expect the cost of buying a new home to increase because of a new national tariff on rebar.

“B.C.’s housing market is already unaffordable for many British Columbians,” said Philip Hochstein, president, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. “This new tariff will make an already difficult situation worse for young families.”

Rebar currently accounts for six per cent of the total cost of constructing a high-rise residential tower. The newly imposed tariff of 25 per cent could increase to as much as 58 per cent should the Canadian International Trade Tribunal decide in favour of foreign-owned eastern steel mills.

“B.C. home buyers simply cannot afford this additional tariff,” Neil Chrystal, CEO, Polygon Homes LTD. “A major component of our construction costs is being unfairly affected and shouldn’t be.”

ICBA is intervening in this case and asking the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) to exempt B.C. from this tariff because:

  • B.C. is an isolated market unserved by Canadian rebar producers;
  • B.C.’s rebar market is supported by US suppliers (60 per cent) and non-NAFTA imports (40 per cent).
  • Having these tariffs in B.C. will not protect jobs in eastern Canada as the foreign-owned eastern steel mills cannot service B.C. It will simply inflate the price of the U.S. supply of rebar in our province.

The national tariff placed on rebar was introduced by the federal government as a result of a complaint by foreign owned eastern Canadian steel mills. The CITT will hold a hearing in Ottawa on December 15 and is expected to make a determination in January.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. services and represents B.C.’s construction sector. Our 1,200 members build in the multi-family residential and Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction sectors and are involved in virtually all major capital projects in British Columbia.