AMERICAN SAMOA SENATE PASSES 20% TUNA TAX

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (February 15, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---The American Samoa Senate passed legislation on Thursday that imposes a 20 percent import duty on light meat tuna off-loaded in the territory by non-U.S. flagged fishing vessels.

The measure passed by a 13-0 vote.

The territory’s two canneries, StarKist Samoa and COS Samoa Packing, and the United States Tuna Foundation oppose the bill.

However, the Senate believes that the proposed law will bring new revenues to the financially strapped government and rejuvenate the U.S. fishing fleets at Pago Pago Harbor.

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to win approval.

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