28 Sep 2005

American Samoan cannery yet to decide on future plans

5:12 pm on 28 September 2005

The general manager of one of the two big canneries in American Samoa says they have no plans yet to leave the territory if tax credits are discontinued.

Herman Gebauer of Samoa Packing says the company will review all options if negotiations in Washington do not lead to an extension of the tax credits currently provided by IRS section 936.

These are due to end in January 2006, and there has been widespread concern voiced in American Samoa that the canneries will shut down their operations as a result, and move elsewhere.

But, Mr Gebauer says a decision is yet to be made.

"At this point, we have no plans to move out of here January next year. The management will sit down and review other options that may be available to us. I know the corporate people are looking into it, and the word I got is that they have no plans to move out until every option has been reviewed and discussed."

Mr Gebauer says between the two canneries, they provide work for about 5,000 people and combined, are the territory's biggest employer.