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Irish Calls for Retention of Salmon Safeguards

by Ellen Hardy
22 April 2008, at 1:00am

IRELAND - The Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, John Browne, has called on the European Commission to maintain its existing trade measures on imports of farmed salmon from Norway.

John Browne

The trade measures, which create a minimum import price for farmed salmon entering the EU market, are currently under threat.

Speaking after the meeting in Brussels Minister Browne said: "I discussed with Mr David O'Sullivan, the Director General of DG Trade the anti-dumping measures which have been in place since 2006 and emphasised the need to retain the measures because of their importance for the Irish aquaculture industry.

"When we negotiated these measures in 2006 I clearly stated that they were needed because they would bring price stability to the market and allow Irish producers to get back on their feet after some years of proven dumping by Norwegian Salmon farmers onto the EU Market.

"I emphasised to the Commission today that our analysis showed that there was a high risk that the withdrawal of the current Minimum Price for farmed salmon would lead to recurrence of dumping by Norwegian producers and that in my opinion the circumstances have not changed to justify the lifting of the measures."

Minister Browne added that the stability brought to the salmon market arising from the implementation of the Anti Dumping measures has resulted in production levels in Ireland last year rising to 16,000 tonnes from a low of 12,000 during the worst of the dumping period in 2004/2005.

He said that the stability in the market has led to renewed investor confidence in Irish companies and he emphasised the importance of retaining these measures for a further period to ensure protection against dumping and support further growth.

Opposition

DG Trade outlined the strong opposition among many other Member States to the continuation of the measures but advised that it would make its decision based on its evaluation of the likelihood of recurrence of dumping.

Minister Browne also emphasised the vital importance of the Commission being in a position going forward to respond immediately to any new dumping of salmon by Norway and to developments in the market where there is evidence of continued dumping on to the EU market.

He said that he was satisfied that a strong case had been made in Brussels in the interest of the Irish Salmon farming industry which is important to Donegal, Connemara and the South West.

"I will continue to work closely with the EU Commission, my colleague the Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, our Scottish and UK colleagues generally as well as the Irish salmon-producing sector on this important issue," he concluded.

 

Ellen Hardy