Be Very Glad Your House Isn’t Built with Chinese Drywall

How would you like to be Alfonso Sanchez? He’s the unlucky owner of a $1.7 million home in Davie Florida that he can neither rent nor sell. And the last thing he wants to do is live there. Why? Chinese drywall. Sanchez is just one of the more than 1500 American homeowners who are unfortunate enough to live in houses where the builders saved money by using cheaper drywall imported from China…that turns out to emit sulfide fumes suspected of making people sick.

How does this happen? The story in yesterday’s WSJ didn’t make this clear. What they do know is that in 2006-2007, after the hurricanes in the US, there wasn’t enough domestically produced drywall to go around. So companies in China filled in the gap.
Consumer safety officials are trying to get the Chinese to help pay for the damage, which is estimated to be between $15 and 25 billion. Good luck with that. You may remember how much luck we had getting Chinese repayment for people injured by toxic toys. The best they can hope for is that they can stop the imports at the border.