11 Sep 2009

Delay in American Samoa bid for US help for canneries

1:39 pm on 11 September 2009

The America Samoa member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has postponed his introduction in the U.S. House of the American Samoa Protection of Industry, Resources and Employment draft proposal.

Faleomavaega was to introduce it this week as a measure to provide subsidies for the canneries and for the tuna fishing fleet for direct landing the tuna in American Samoa for processing.

However, Faleomavaega says he decided to wait and first respond to concerns by Governor Togiola Tulafono about the proposal.

Togiola had informed Faleomavaega that the government does not support the proposal because of concern regarding certain provisions, which deal with subsidies for the canneries if the minimum wage continues to increases.

Togiola also has questions on certain issues that he says deserves further clarification.

However, an American Samoa senator Galeai Tuufuli says it's wrong for the governor to state that the government does not support the proposal because that is not the stand of the American Samoa senate, which fully supports the measure.