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Chilean Salmon Farmers Will Fight Commerce Department’s Mixed Ruling On Dumping

For Immediate Release


USA:  Jeanne McKnight or Heidi Davalos/SalmonChile Information Bureau (425) 451-3443

Chile:  Rodrigo Infante V. or Felipe Cubillos/SalmonChile 011 (562) 699-2825
            Claudia Adriasola/Burson-Marsteller Chile 011 (562) 203-5085


January 9, 1998-- The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) today announced that, based on its preliminary investigation, it will place low provisional anti-dumping duties on some companies’ exports of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile.

The DOC found dumping margins to be de minimis, or less than 2 percent, for three of Chile’s largest salmon-farming companies, Marine Harvest, Mares Australes, and Camanchaca. Margins for the other two companies investigated, Aguas Claras and Eicosal, are well below the 42 percent sought by domestic salmon producers. The DOC set margins at 3.31 percent for Aguas Claras and 8.27 percent for Eicosal. An "all others" rate of 5.79 percent, based on the average of the two companies above de minimis, will be applied to more than 35 other Chilean salmon producers that were not investigated.

Rodrigo Infante, General Manager of the Association of Chilean Salmon Farmers, has issued the following statement in response to today’s preliminary ruling:

"We are pleased that Commerce found de minimis margins for three of our companies, but we are still disappointed by the low rates against the other two. It is also unfortunate that the rate established by a minority of those companies investigated will be applied to the majority of our industry. A full and fair comparison of the U.S. prices by Commerce will show Chilean producers are not dumping, even at these small margins. We expect the DOC to recognize this fact by the time it reaches its final determination in May."

"We compete vigorously and fairly in the U.S. market. The DOC has already ruled that we are not subsidized by our government. Our success as an industry is the result of our country’s natural advantages for growing salmon, as well as our focus on offering U.S. consumers the high-quality, convenient products they have been seeking."

"We’ve worked hard to build demand for salmon in the United States. We’ve contributed $1.2 million to a generic salmon marketing campaign and have pioneered the production of boneless salmon fillets widely used in supermarkets and restaurants. The U.S. producers cannot grow enough salmon to meet U.S. demand and most are not equipped to produce salmon fillets. The DOC’s decision does not change this."

"Despite our objections to today’s decision, the preliminary ruling confirms how exaggerated the petitioners’ charges of ‘massive dumping’ really are. We are not to blame for their financial problems."

"Today’s ruling unfairly punishes many U.S. consumers, businesses and workers who buy, distribute and sell Chilean salmon. The Chilean salmon industry has not only

created 7,600 U.S. jobs, but also generates more than $176 million per year in American paychecks. By comparison, the U.S. industry, most of which is owned by Canadian and Norwegian interests, employs fewer than 500 workers."

"We will continue to fight these charges at the Commerce Department as well as at the International Trade Commission. We will strongly encourage the DOC to further analyze the facts because they will prove our position. We want to get on with the business of building a market for salmon that mutually benefits both American and Chilean interests. Fighting these protectionist efforts is a waste of everyone’s time and money."