4 Feb 2015

Slowdown highlights American Samoa import dependency

9:18 am on 4 February 2015

American Samoa's business community says the labour issues at US west coast seaports, which are delaying shipments to the territory, highlight an over dependence on imports.

The first freighters carrying food supplies have only arrived in the last few days after several weeks of no shipments.

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce says imported food like eggs, meat, milk, bottled water and flour make up 95 percent of the territory's food supply.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago Fili Sagapolutele says the chamber's encouraging more local food production and pointing out the potential for imports from the region.

"Meat can be brought in from Australia or New Zealand however that meat needs to be inspected by a US Department of Agriculture inspector and that inspector has to be flown in from Honolulu and that could take time."

Fili Sagapolutele says there is also concern the slowdown might reduce revenue from taxes on imports.