Aumua Issues Statement on TriMarine's Suspension of Canning Operations
Press Release from Office of Rep Aumua Amata, October 13, 2016
Pago Pago, A.S. – Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata, issued the following statement regarding TriMarine’s announcement to suspend their canning operations in American Samoa:
“The isolated nature of American Samoa continues to place an undue burden on our island’s ability to support stable economic growth. As such, we all understood that the suspension of the TriMarine canning operations was a very distinct possibility, bordering on the inevitable. This does not necessarily mean TriMarine is closing down all operations. Due to a complex series of factors, including a long history of poorly thought out and misguided government policies, we find ourselves at a crossroads. It was my top priority during my first term in congress to begin reversing those policies, and I will continue that mission in the hopes that the island’s remaining cannery can prosper.
American Samoa has a rich history and cultural heritage of strength and perseverance and we will continue to march on. The negative impact of the cannery closing to our economy will be far from negligible however; we’ve weathered worse storms and have come out of it with a better understanding of what it takes to keep moving forward. This situation is a set-back but also an opportunity to look ahead and build something better from the ground up. Resiliency is not about never falling down or never taking damage, but rather fostering and maintaining our strength so that each stumbling block is a little bit easier to come back from. We can pull together and work on diversifying our economy and implementing new ways to grow. We can continue to implement better infrastructure and economic policies so that future hurdles are more like small speed bumps instead of large mountains. Be assured, we will do everything we can to minimize the impact of this closing on our community and keep American Samoa’s economy healthy and growing.”
Congresswoman Amata’s colleagues from the House Natural Resources and House Small Business Committees also had the following to say regarding the cannery closure:
“As a subcommittee vice chairman, Amata has been a strong voice on the Natural Resources Committee in making sure the voices of the people are taken into account in federal decision making. I was distressed to learn one of American Samoa's tuna canneries will close, throwing hundreds of people out of work. I am committed to enacting legislation to reduce the power of the president to unilaterally wall off large sections of the ocean in the name of environmental protection without consultation with Congress and the local people affected."
-Chairman Rob Bishop, House Natural Resources Committee
"Next year in the House with Amata at my side as vice chairman of the subcommittee on Insular, Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, I will look forward to examining how we can focus the attention of the new administration and its Interior Department on the pressing need of economic diversification in the islands so the departure of major employers won't have the kind of negative impact the closure of a tuna cannery has."
-Chairman Don Young, Subcommittee on Insular, Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
"I was sorry to learn that American Samoa's second largest private employer is suspending operations. As a valuable member of my leadership team on the House Small Business Committee, Amata will have a seat at the table when we consider our committee agenda next year. We will look forward to exploring how we in Washington can help to develop the territory's small business economy to protect the workforce from dislocations like this in the future."
-Chairman Steve Chabot, House Small Business Committee
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Samoa News: Other facets of STP being maintained — with much reduced labor force
Talanei: Tri Marine announces temporary closure of STP December 11
AP: Tuna cannery in American Samoa to halt production