10 Aug 2015

Bill introduced to prevent slow shipping to American Samoa

11:43 am on 10 August 2015

American Samoa's congresswoman and other Republicans in the United States have introduced a bill to prevent shipping slowdowns like what was seen at ports on the West Coast this year.

The Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipment or Ports bill expands upon laws that give the president power to get involved in labour disputes and petition a court to end a strike or lockout.

US Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen.

US Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen. Photo: radewagen.house.gov

A labour dispute at West Coast ports in February delayed shipments to American Samoa, causing a shortage of food and other goods, which Aumua Amata Radewagen says was a direct threat to American Samoa.

"The continued flow of good to and from the island by way of shipping is essential to our economy and when these slowdowns occur we're left extremely vulnerable, which is why we came up with the Ports Act."

Aumua Amata Radewagen says the proposed law allows the president to intervene to protect the economy in the case of a slowdown, and allows governors to petition courts to intervene.

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