12 Jun 2003

American Samoan concern over tuna clauses in Micronesian compacts

5:01 pm on 12 June 2003

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has raised concerns that more duty free tuna could reach the US from the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

He says this could harm American Samoa.

In negotiations for the new Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the Marshalls, due to be brought in later this year, both countries are being offered duty free treatment for ten percent of their tuna catch.

This would double the previous allowance.

Faleomavaega says this could mean up to ten million cases of tuna a year entering the US tax free and this could spell trouble for American Samoa.

He has voiced his concerns in letters to the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the US Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick.