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Worries In American Samoa Over Lower Tuna Duties To US Market American Samoa, November 1, 13

Multi and bilateral fisheries agreements between the United States and other countries have been said by the American Samoan governor to be hurting the country’s local tuna fishing industry, writes Talanei.

Lolo Moliga says he has told a Department of the Interior official, Eileen Sobeck, that the territory has suffered indirectly from deals that give special access, in terms of lower or the absence of import duties, to US allies which export their catches or processed tuna products to the US.

He said the interests of American Samoa are never addressed in these treaty negotiations and the net effect is undermining the local canneries.

The chairman Tri Marine International, Renato Curto, agreed in saying that pending legislation in Washington that would allow foreign companies improved access to the US is a threat to his company which is building a new tuna cannery in American Samoa.

“We are investing in Samoa because we believe in the advantages of being in American Samoa and we believe the people of American Samoa can do the job properly and if we eliminate the little advantage that American Samoa has with respect to the other countries that produce tuna and export to the United States, then our job is going to be very very difficult.”

In a radio interview, Renato Curto, shared his concerns that legislation now pending in Congress will impact the local tuna canneries of Tri Marine and also StarKist / Dongwon.