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For Immediate Release

Contact:

Mark Spatz

Salmon Trade Alliance, 1-888-782-2559

www.salmontrade.com

 

U.S. Industry Anxiously Awaits Trade Decision on Salmon

Business groups encourage President to examine issue while in Chile

Washington, D.C. (April 16, 1998)-- Despite back-to-back rulings clearing the path for Chilean salmon to stay on the U.S. dinner tables, U.S. consumers and businesses could still be hurt by U.S. trade sanctions. The Salmon Trade Alliance is urging President Bill Clinton and his delegation to address these issues at the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, April 17-19.

"As soon as this case was filed, we realized it was going to be a problem for U.S. businesses and consumers," said Alliance Director Mark Spatz. "At first glance, these rulings appear to be a win for our Salmon Trade Alliance; however, the possibility for future trade action has created uncertainty in the marketplace. We hope the President will take the opportunity to look at how important salmon is, and will continue to be, for both the U.S. and the Chilean economies."

Several U.S. trade associations also commented on how important it is to keep duties from being imposed on Chile’s fresh Atlantic salmon.

"Salmon’s popularity is growing and its significance to the U.S. seafood economy cannot be overstated," said Richard E. Gutting Jr., executive vice president of the National Fisheries Institute, a U.S.-based, non-profit trade association, representing more than 1000 companies in all aspects of the fish and seafood industry. "The U.S. imported more than $500 million worth of salmon in 1997 and Chile accounts for 37 percent of that total. To restrict trade of this important commodity would have a huge impact."

"Salmon is the single most common fish offered in restaurants, and fresh Atlantic pin-bone out fillets from Chile allow restaurateurs to provide customers with the product they desire," said Elaine Graham, senior vice president of government affairs and membership for the National Restaurant Association, which represents 175,000 eating establishments. "If import duties are unjustly placed on Chilean salmon, restaurants will not be able to reliably offer this item at a fair price," she said.

The American Hotel & Motel Association, the voice of the $80 billion U.S. lodging industry, is also looking forward to the decision on fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile. "Salmon is one of the most popular fish found on our members’ restaurant and room-service menus," said John Connors, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the American Hotel & Motel Association. "If high tariffs are placed on the product, our members could lose an item that adds significant value and that customers enjoy," he said.

The Department of Commerce will make its final ruling in early June and the International Trade Commission will issue its injury determination in July of this year.

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The Salmon Trade Alliance is an ad-hoc coalition comprising of nearly 80 U.S. businesses and trade associations, the Salmon Trade Alliance opposes antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed in June 1997 by U.S. salmon producers against fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile.