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Lawmaker regrets StarKist plans to move to Samoa

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 25, 2010) - An American Samoan lawmaker, Vaitoa Hans Langkilde, says he is saddened to hear the exchange of views between leaders concerning StarKist’s plans to move a part of its operation to Samoa.

He said leaders are answering each other on the radio instead of having a face to face discussion, and in the meantime the territory’s economy is spiraling downwards.

Vaitoa was referring to a KHJ News report, quoting the governor as saying he was saddened to learn that a leader had encouraged a company to leave the territory and move to another country.

[PIR editor’s note: A previous report states that the planning of the "tuna loining plant in Asau, Samoa is promising a minimum of 1,200 jobs and has been welcomed by the constituency." See story.]

Vaitoa said he supports efforts to save StarKist Samoa and called on the Fono [territorial legislature] leaders to recommend to the governor to discuss the cannery’s request for a Task Force to go over what can be done to help the company.

He said there won’t be any difficulty in facing challenges with the territory’s weakening economy if leaders work together.

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