26 Feb 2015

American Samoa deserves more US help

8:03 am on 26 February 2015

The governor of American Samoa has told United States federal officials the territory deserves much more economic help than it gets.

Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: AFP

Lolo Matalasi Moliga made the comments at the annual meeting of the Inter Agency Group on Insular Affairs in Washington DC.

He says Washington has helped American Samoa to sustain itself, but has not done enough.

"We do understand the toughness and the serious of the budget these days but at the same time we need some recognition and we do feel that we deserve much better than what we have today. You know, after 115, 120 years of being part of the American family, we do have a very serious condition back home."

Lolo says federal mandates and regulations sometimes hurts the territory, and hopes they will be relaxed.

He is requesting the US government returns to the bi-annual review of the local minimum wage.

In September, a freeze on wage increases mandated by a law that congress passed in 2007 will expire.