5 Nov 2015

American Samoa governor decries global politics

1:53 pm on 5 November 2015

American Samoa's Governor Lolo Moliga says he believes the territory is a victim of US global politics as its canneries face an uncertain future.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga. Photo: RNZI Monica Miller

Starkist, which is the top private sector employer, says it may shift its tuna production from American Samoa to counter rising operating costs.

The governor says there have been major changes in the economics of the fishing industry that are beyond the territory's control.

He says all he can do is try to make those in Washington understand how their policies are impacting American Samoa.

The governor says the canneries, StarKist and Tri Marine, knew when they made their investments in their local plants that an increase in the minimum wage was coming.

Governor Lolo recognises that the canneries are competing with countries where people are paid one US dollar or less an hour.

Starkist says it has stopped hiring new staff as it is considering its options.