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NRA And FMI Join Salmon Trade Alliance

For Immediate Release


Mark Spatz or Heidi Davalos

Salmon Trade Alliance, 1-888-782-2559


NRA And FMI Join Salmon Trade Alliance

Washington, D.C. (December 17, 1997)-- Two of the United States’ largest food-industry trade associations have weighed in on the side of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile in an increasingly high-profile international trade dispute. The National Restaurant Association and the Food Marketing Institute lent their substantial clout to the Salmon Trade Alliance by recently becoming members, according to Alliance Membership Director Mark Spatz.

A coalition of more than 75 U.S. businesses and trade associations, the Salmon Trade Alliance opposes antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed this past June by U.S. salmon producers against fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile. In 1996, Chile provided the U.S. with 36 percent of its imported, whole fresh Atlantic salmon and 95 percent of imported, fresh Atlantic salmon fillets. Additionally, a study released in October found the importation of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile in 1996 directly and indirectly contributed $390 million to the economy and resulted in more than 7,600 U.S. jobs.

"The addition of these two powerful trade associations illustrates the value of continued free trade in fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile. It’s a product that U.S. companies want to sell and U.S. consumers want to buy," said Spatz.

"Salmon is the single most common fish offered in restaurants, and fresh Atlantic pin-bone out fillets from Chile allow restauranteurs to provide customers with the product they desire," said Elaine Graham, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Membership for the National Restaurant Association. "If import duties are unjustly placed on Chilean salmon, restaurants will not be able to reliably offer this item at a fair price. This could severely impact our member restaurant chains and mid-scale and smaller independent restaurants," she said.

The National Restaurant Association is dedicated to promoting, educating and protecting the restaurant industry. Since its first convention in 1919, the NRA has grown to 32,000 members worldwide, representing 175,000 eating establishments.

"Consumers are looking for Chilean salmon fillets in the grocery store," said George Green, Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Food Marketing Institute. "Right now, they can get a high-quality, convenient, nutritious product at a reasonable price. Anything less than continued free trade would be a disservice to U.S. consumers," he said.

The Food Marketing Institute conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs for 1,500 food retailers and wholesalers and their subsidiaries. FMI’s domestic members operate 21,000 retail food stores, which represent more than half of all grocery store sales in the United States.

The small group of U.S. salmon producers, who filed the anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions June 12, lost a preliminary decision November 12. The U.S. Department of Commerce determined that Chilean government subsidies to the country’s salmon farmers were not substantial enough to warrant countervailing duties. A preliminary decision on the anti-dumping portion of the case is scheduled for January 8. The U.S. International Trade Commission and the DOC will make final determinations in the Spring of 1998.