25 Mar 2010

American Samoa's governor keen to keep only cannery in Territory

10:01 am on 25 March 2010

American Samoa governor Togiola Tulafono says he continues to support initiatives geared at keeping the StarKist Samoa cannery sustainable and competitive.

With the closure of COS Samoa Packing last September, there has been much discussion on what the government is doing to ensure StarKist doesn't follow suit.

In response to inquiries, the governor's office said in a statement yesterday that many initiatives the government continues to pursue to date are to do with retaining the cannery in the territory.

These include the government's support for Congressman Faleomavega Eni Hunkin's ASPIRE legislation currently before the U.S. Congress which provides federal subsidies for whole fish delivered by the canneries and fishing boats to the U.S. territory for processing.

And the government is trying to assist the cannery in reducing energy costs in order to increase production margins and the competitiveness of its product as well as reviewing the cannery's tax base and supporting moves to stop mandated annual wage increases in the territory.