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For Immediate Release Contact: McKnight & Company, Inc. 425-451-2922

New Study Reports: Chilean Salmon Industry Supports More Than 7,600 U.S. Jobs

Summary of Findings

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 Murray’s 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 coalition’s 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, I’d buy locally. But there’s no substitute for Chilean salmon fillets. Chile has spent a lot of time and money developing the boneless fillets and shouldn’t 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 Florida’s 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.


               A Summary of Major Findings


  • Chilean farm-raised fresh Atlantic salmon products constituted 55 percent (70.3 million pounds) of the total supply (127.5 million pounds) of fresh Atlantic salmon into the United States during 1996.
  • Chilean salmon reportedly accounted for 47 percent ($134.5 million) of the value of all imported fresh Atlantic salmon ($287.9 million) into the United States. Of the total Chilean salmon imports, 93 percent arrived in the United States through the customs port of Miami.
  • In Dade County, Florida, the importation of Chilean salmon provided a direct impact of $76.5 million on gross industrial output, $20.3 million in income, $21.4 million of additional value-added, and full-time employement for 819 people in 1996.
  • The direct impacts initiated in Dade County grew throughout Florida to $103.3 million of new "output," $32.1 million in total income, $34.31 million in value-added, and an associated 1,430 full-time jobs in 1996.
  • The direct economic impacts expand nationwide, increasing U.S. industrial output by $237 million, income growth by $109.5 million, value-added by $122.5 million, and resulting in 6,054 full-time jobs in 1996.
  • The direct impacts of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile imported through Miami also stimulated indirect (support) sectors nationwide of $153.4 million in output, $66.3 million in income, $71.8 million in value-added, and an additional 1,572 full-time domestic jobs in 1996.
  • Combining the direct and indirect impacts, the Chilean fresh Atlantic salmon industry in the U.S. generated a national economic impact of $390 million in output, $176 million in income, $194 million in value added, and full-time employment for 7,627 people during 1996.
  • Each $1 of the U.S. consumer’s expenditure for fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile represents $0.66 of sales activity to U.S. businesses nationwide.
  • Salmon was the fastest growing seafood item, second only to shrimp in the category of "top-selling species," according to independent surveys of food marketers in 1996-1997. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all retailers reported increasing sales of value-added items such as fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile, while overall seafood consumption in the U.S. remained level.
  • The $125 million of fresh Chilean Atlantic salmon coming to the U.S. consumer through Dade County, Florida reached the final consumer through nationwide retail purchases of : $124,512,600 at supermarkets, $20,752,100 at seafood markets and $62,256,300 at restaurants and institutions. Combined, all consumer outlets sold $363,805,000 worth of fresh Atlantic salmon from Chile to U.S. consumers.