Senate Approves New StarKist Lease In Am. Samoa

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Lease for canning plant worth about $120,000 a year

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 7, 2013) – American Samoa’s Senate has given its stamp of approval to a new lease between the government and Starkist Samoa.

The new agreement involves a fifty percent increase in land for Starkist’s tuna canning plant in Pago Pago.

During debate on the lease, Senator Soliai Tuipine suggested raising the rent by one cent per square foot.

Senator Mauga Tasi Asuega also supported a rent rise saying Starkist had paid 29 cents a square foot for decades.

But Senator Laolagi Vaeao said this would further complicate negotiations between the cannery and the government and he suggested the existing rental rate remain.

The Senate’s president Gaotoeote Palaie agreed and a vote was called which resulted in the lease being approved.

The StarKist lease starts at the beginning of November and is for thirty years with an option to renew for an additional 25 years.

The government gains nearly US$120,000 a year from the lease.

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