11 Mar 2010

American Samoa's balance of trade expected to see a worsening deficit this year

10:47 am on 11 March 2010

American Samoa's balance of trade will see a worsening deficit this year due to the closure of the Samoa Packing tuna cannery.

Deputy Director of Commerce, Lelei Peau, said in testimony at a House hearing that in 2008, the balance of trade reported a deficit of $231 million.

This is expected to worsen as lesser amounts of canned tuna is to be exported from American Samoa in 2009 and 2010.

Employment information shows that the total employment for 2008 was 16,990 and this number is expected to drop because of the cannery closure.

However hiring under federally funded programs for the tsunami recovery has cushioned the number of jobless.

1,822 temporary workers have found employment under the National Employment Grant funded by the US Department of Labor.