In a move that surprised National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) leaders, the Commerce Department issued a preliminary ruling rejecting an NPPC request to impose countervailing duties on Canadian hog imports.

“We have not had a chance to review the Commerce Department's analysis, but it is public knowledge that the Canadian producers have received large amounts of subsidies over the years,” reports Jon Caspers, NPPC past president and Swaledale, IA, pork producer.

“This decision is right on the facts and the law,” says Daniel Porter, U.S. counsel to the Manitoba Pork Council and seven companies that are the subject of the subsidy investigation.

The final Commerce Department subsidy ruling is due out in December.

In a separate but related case, the Commerce Department has delayed issuing a preliminary ruling until October on whether Canadian hogs are being dumped in the U.S. market.