|Congressman Faleomavaega has nominated Mr. David B.
Cohen to the U.S. Secretary of Labor for appointment as a member of Special
Industry Committee No. 24, which is expected to meet in American Samoa
this summer to recommend new minimum wages for the U.S. territory.
I am pleased to submit a strong recommendation to Secretary Elaine
Chao on behalf of Mr. Cohen, said Faleomavaega. He is a Samoan
lawyer with a long history of active involvement in business and community
affairs. With his experience in complex areas of the law such as
international finance and structured financial transactions, I believe
he will be able to understand and analyze the detailed data and conflicting
recommendations which will be submitted to the Committee.
Mr. Cohen is currently a partner in the Corporate and Banking Department
of the Sidley Austin Brown & Wood law firm. Prior to joining
his current firm, he was associated with Rogers & Wells; Pillsbury
Madison & Sutro; and other private firms. His specialty in banking,
project finance, and general transactional practice, will serve him well
as a member of a special industry committee, said the Congressman.
Mr. Cohen holds a joint J.D.-M.B.A. degree from Penn Law School
and the Wharton School. He is the co-author of two legal books, Business
and its Legal Environment, and Modern Business Law. He has
been an instructor at California State University, Long Beach and the Wharton
School, University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his excellent
qualifications, he has run for Congress twice, and has been active in the
Republican party, so has strong credentials in that area as well, the
As a Samoan with strong ties to the community, Mr. Cohen is familiar
with the unique needs of remote island economies, and will be sensitive
to the cultural context in which any changes in current minimum wages would
be made, noted Faleomavaega.
The members of the Special Industry Committee are appointed by the
U.S. Secretary of Labor. The recommendations of the committees are
published in the Federal Register as a Wage Order, and become effective
shortly thereafter. American Samoa is the only U.S. jurisdiction
in which special industry committees are convened, although the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands also has a minimum wage below the Federal
minimum wage, which is $5.15 per hour. The current minimum wages
in American Samoa range from a low of $2.50 per hour for the Miscellaneous
Activities Industry to a high of $3.97 for the Shipping and Transportation