30 Apr 2009

Economic uncertainty accompanies cannery speculation in American Samoa

1:11 pm on 30 April 2009

American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce says whether speculation about the territory's canning plants turns out to be true or false, it faces an uncertain economic future.

The Governor's Office has received information indicating that the tuna cannery Samoa Packing is making plans to close down.

A spokesperson for the company told Radio New Zealand International he would neither deny nor confirm any such plans.

There are also reports that the territory's other cannery, Starkist Samoa, intends to lay off 250 workers.

The chamber's president, David Robinson, says the government shouldn't have allowed the economy to rely so heavily on the canning operations in the first place.

"This is a very worrying situation for the whole of the economy in view of the fact that they support our economy to the tune of 85 per cent"

David Robinson says he has called the managers of both canneries and is awaiting a definitive answer as to their plans.