11 Jul 2007

Work under way in U.S. in attempt to mitigate impact of federal legislation on territories

1:39 pm on 11 July 2007

Work is under way in the U.S. to come up with proposals to try to mitigate the impact of the federal minimum wage increases on American Samoa.

This follows recent concerns voiced by both the territory's governor and senate president that the U.S. is forcing changes on American Samoa by imposing federal legislation.

The deputy assistant secretary of the Interior, David Cohen, says they understand the concerns and try to ensure that members of Congress and the Executive branch are made aware of the impact legislation will have on the U.S. territories.

Mr Cohen says he and the Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, recently visited American Samoa to discuss the issue.

"He's instructed me to suggest options for trying to mitigate the impact of the recent legislation and help protect the economy of American Samoa. These are still in the deliberation stage so I'm not ready to announce anything and, of course, any ideas we come up with, have to be vetted throughout the administration."

David Cohen.