For Immediate Release Contact: McKnight & Company, Inc. 425-451-2922
New Study Reports: Chilean Salmon Industry Supports More Than 7,600 U.S. Jobs
MIAMI (October 23, 1997) -- Fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile directly supports an estimated 6,054 U.S. full-time jobs and adds nearly $110 million in personal income to the U.S. economy, reports a new study released today.
The study also found that the indirect impact of imported Chilean salmon contributes to another 1,572 full-time domestic jobs and an additional $66 million in income.
Thomas J. Murray, an economist and adjunct senior research associate at Georgia State University, performed the study in conjunction with the University of South Florida.
The release of Murrays study comes less than a month before the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) plans to announce whether it will place preliminary duties on imported Chilean salmon. The Chilean salmon industry has been under investigation by the DOC since June 12, when eight domestic salmon producers filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition against all forms of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile.
Already, a coalition of more than 60 U.S. companies, known as the Salmon Trade Alliance, has organized to protest the petition. The coalitions membership ranges from importers to independent freight businesses, to supermarket chains and restaurants. The companies say the petition endangers U.S. economic interests instead of protecting them. The new study bolsters that argument.
The U.S. salmon producers, located in Maine and Washington state, note in their petition that they support just 450 U.S. jobs, compared to the more than 7,600 jobs directly and indirectly affected by Chilean salmon. Furthermore, the study found that 66 percent of the nearly $364 million consumers spend on fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile stays in the United States.
"I could lose half my salmon business," said Buddy Levine, responding to the threat of tariffs on Chilean salmon. Levine is president of the 30-employee Collins Fish & Seafood Company in Miami, Florida, and a member of the Salmon Trade Alliance.
"My allegiance is to the consumer," Levine said. "If fresh salmon fillets of this quality were available locally, Id buy locally. But theres no substitute for Chilean salmon fillets. Chile has spent a lot of time and money developing the boneless fillets and shouldnt be punished for providing a product the market has demanded," he added.
Murray conducted the study using published information from public universities and state and federal agencies. He calculated the economic impacts for Floridas Dade County, the state of Florida, and the whole United States. The impact on Florida is significant because 93 percent of all imported Chilean salmon passes through the port of Miami. Murray used the standard input-output model to estimate the direct, indirect and induced economic implications of Chilean salmon trade in the United States.