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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 28) - Officials in American
Samoa say the territory may not have much to gain by participating in the
Pacific Island Countries Free Trade Agreement.

The agreement, which has been in effect for just over a week,
promotes free trade among island countries by removing all barriers such as
import duties, quotas and other tariffs.

The Director of Commerce, Ali’imau Jnr Scanlan, says since
American Samoa does not have any exports to send to neighboring countries, the
free trade agreement would be a limited value.

But he says many of the signatories of the trade agreement
already export tons of food, building materials and other products to the

He said if American Samoa was to become part of the trade
agreement it would lose out on taxes paid by these exporters.

Meanwhile, it has been suggested that fishing licenses for U.S.
tuna boats operating in the region could be tied to the Free Trade Agreement.

April 28, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:

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