He is countersuing for discrimination, saying the company began refusing to sell its merchandise to him beginning in 2012 with "corporate instructions to Trader Joe's store managers in Washington." He said he is legally allowed to "resell trademarked products if they are sold without material change," his legal response states.
He says he is not violating any American or Canadian laws by exporting his purchases to his retail store in Canada.
"The purpose of Hallatt's business, known as Pirate Joe's, is to provide a convenience to Canadians who wish to purchase Trader Joe's branded products but would prefer to avoid the time, trouble, and expense of traveling to the United States and returning to Canada through border security checkpoints and Canadian customs," his legal response states.
One Yelp review of the store states, "These guys are not affiliated with Trader Joe's in any way which means that they have to jump through some pretty knarley hoops to get these products here for us Vancouverites, but they do. The prices are a little higher than Trader Joe's but I for one am happy to pay a little extra to save myself a trip across the border."