18 Dec 2014

American Samoa pleas for US fisheries help

8:16 pm on 18 December 2014

American Samoa's governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga wants U.S. Department of Interior support on fisheries issues because its tuna canneries are under threat.

He says they face stiff global competition and "cut throat" policies pursued by the Chinese.

In a letter to Interior officials, the governor says one of the most pressing issues that would erode the local canneries' competitive edge is the next mandatory minimum wage increase set to go into effect on September the 30th next year.

He says that given the changing dynamics of the fisheries industry caused by China's 'cut-throat' policies, another lifting of the minimum wage will erode the canneries' competitive edge, and could cause their demise.

Meanwhile the U.S. Congress has passed a tax extender package, which includes a one year extension of a federal tax credit, which is critical for the canneries.