15 Mar 2005

American Samoa wants continued tax incentives for canneries

11:22 am on 15 March 2005

The American Samoan Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has pressed for a commitment of support from the Department of Interior for the extension of IRS Section 936, which provides tax incentives that the canneries are dependent on.

The governor says he asked the Secretary of Interior for support from the department to help push Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin's bill seeking an extension of Section 936.

Togiola says he has called on the department to leave aside their inter-agency differences and to make its position known to Congress.

He says if the extension does not go through, and the canneries leave, American Samoa will be looking to the Department of Interior to fill the void.

The governor says rather than trying to attract new businesses and investment, efforts should be made to keep and protect existing companies.

He said the canneries departure would mean the loss of 4,000 jobs which would have catastrophic results for the territory.