9 Sep 2015

US Senator attacks American Samoa cabotage law

11:19 am on 9 September 2015

A US presidential hopeful is concerned that federal cabotage law is hindering economic prosperity and tourism development in American Samoa and Guam.

Aviation cabotage allows a foreign airline to operate on another country's domestic routes.

The senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, who plans to run as a a Republican Party candidate in the 2016 presidential election, is calling for federal cabotage law to be scrapped .

Mr Cruz's campaigners arrived in Pago Pago last week.

A consultant to Mr Cruz's campaign, Dennis Lennox, says American Samoa has tried to get cabotage laws waived for years to allow foreign carriers to operate in and out of American Samoa to other US airports as a way to boost tourism development.

He says the three Pacific territories, including American Samoa, are valuable and strategically important insular areas to the US.

Last month the Samoan Government owned Polynesian Airlines was granted a 30-day cabotage waiver by the United States Transportation Department to operate American Samoa's domestic flights.

The US territories cannot vote in the presidential election, but are able to vote in selecting a candidate for the Republican and Democratic parties in their local caucus and conventions.

The Republican Party Caucus is set for 22 March 2016 in Pago Pago.

Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas in 2012.

Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas in 2012 and is hoping to run as a Republican Party candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Photo: Jamelle Bouie

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