The head of Tri Marine International says he's hopeful American Samoa will be granted duty free access to European markets for its canned tuna products.
Renato Curto told those gathered at the inauguration of the new 70 million US dollar Samoa Tuna Processors cannery that negotiations are underway to include the territory as part of the US - EU free trade deal.
He says if current exclusions remain for American Samoa, it will only strengthen competition in the international tuna market.
"We have duty free access to the United States but we are subject to stiff duties in European market and in other markets."
Renato Curto says countries like Papua New Guinea, China, the Philippines and Thailand have high production capacities as well as lower wage and energy costs, making competition tough.