The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled unanimously that there is a reasonable indication of injury to U.S. pork producers from Canadian live hog imports.

That preliminary decision underscores what is painfully obvious to U.S. producers, according to Jon Caspers, Swaledale, IA, producer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

“Unfair Canadian trade practices have resulted in increased Canadian hog exports to the U.S., which have negatively impacted prices, causing financial harm to U.S. pork producers,” he says.

The preliminary injury ruling by the ITC paves the way for the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate Canadian pricing and subsidy practices.

The Commerce Department will issue a preliminary ruling this summer, at which time Commerce will offset unfair trade practices it finds with antidumping and/or countervailing duties.

The ITC will then conduct its final injury investigation and is expected to issue its final ruling early next year.

NPPC, state pork producer groups and individual producers filed the trade case on March 5, 2004.