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

NEWS RELEASE May 24, 2002


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that the Andean Trade Preference Act passed the Senate on the evening of May 23, 2002 by a vote of 66-30. The ATPA passed with a provision to limit the amount of canned tuna that the Andean counties could export duty-free.

"I want to thank Senator John Breaux (D-LA) for his leadership in working with us to craft a compromise that would limit the amount of canned tuna that Ecuador and other Andean countries could export duty-free," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "As I have previously stated, our compromise amendment also includes a source of origin provision which stipulates that any tuna entering duty-free under the provisions of the ATPA must be caught by Andean or U.S. flag ships.

"I also want to thank Dennis Mussell, President and CEO of Chicken of the Sea International/Samoa Packing for his continued support in protecting the interests of American Samoa. I also want to thank Chris Lischewski, CEO of Bumble Bee, and U.S. tuna boat owners Paul Krampe and Julius Zolezzi who have also supported our cause. I am also deeply appreciative of the work Diane McRee and Jeff Pike have done in lobbying for the interests of the U.S. tuna and fishing processing industries.

"The House and Senate must now conference to reconcile the two versions of the ATPA that are before the U.S. Congress," the Congressman said. "The House version provides duty-free access for all canned tuna coming from the Andean countries while the Senate version limits the amount to 20% of U.S. domestic production.

"Although it may be difficult to reconcile these two positions, I am hopeful that the conferees will support the intent of the Breaux amendment. Resolving this issue in a way favorable to the future of American Samoa is critical and I intend to continue to work with my friends, both Republican and Democrat, to ensure that our interests are protected," the Congressman concluded.

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