FALEOMAVAEGA REQUESTS FONO HEARING ON SAFETY STANDARDS FOR AIGA AND

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA Delegate from American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE June 29, 1999

FOREIGN-MADE BUSES

Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that he has written to the leadership of the American Samoa House and Senate and requested that they hold a hearing on a request he received from the American Samoa Government (ASG) to amend the federal law which governs the safety standards applicable to vehicles driven on American Samoa's roads.

"The issue of the safety standards which should be applicable to the buses used for public transportation in American Samoa has been at issue for some time now," said Faleomavaega. "Buses made in foreign countries can be purchased in American Samoa for less money than buses made in the United States, so there is an incentive to introduce these buses into the territory. The problem is that these buses do not meet U.S. vehicle safety standards, and the question becomes -- do the buses provide the same level of safety to the public?"

"As our local public knows, our aiga buses are locally constructed on frames made in the United States. While this provides local employment and supports American manufacturers, there is also a question of whether these buses meet federal standards," continued the Congressman.

"Before I seek to amend federal law in this area, I would like to hear from the public in American Samoa, from experts who can explain the difference between U.S. and foreign safety standards, and from our elected and traditional leaders. I think a Fono hearing would be the best way to accomplish this, and I appreciate any assistance the Fono will provide in this regard," concluded Faleomavaega.

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