|December 13, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA REACTS TO ECUADOR’S EFFORTS TO INFLUENCE FEDERAL AGENCIES ON THE MATTER OF ANDEAN TRADE|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that he has written to the Honorable Colin Powell, Secretary
of State, to express his concerns about Ecuador’s efforts to influence
the Department of the State on the matter of the inclusion of canned tuna
in the Andean Trade Expansion Act.
“I have also written to the Secretary of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Honorable Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I have expressed my disappointment about Ecuador’s refusal to compromise on any and every good faith effort put forward to address this most serious trade matter.”
“Quite frankly,” Faleomavaega said, “I take issue with Ecuador’s tactics. Ecuador imposes a 20% duty on canned tuna from the U.S. yet is lobbying the State Department and other federal agencies for duty-free treatment of its tuna. Ecuador is opposed to compromise and any sense of fairness and equity in the process.”
“For the past five months, I have
worked with my colleagues in the House and Senate, both Republican and
Democrat, to craft a compromise that would expand opportunities for the
Andean countries, ensure the viability of the U.S. tuna fishing and processing
industries, and protect the interests of American Samoa,” Faleomavaega
“This compromise will assist Ecuador and other Andean countries in their efforts to curb drug production. The compromise will also ensure that American Samoa will have a market for the tuna it processes,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “As StarKist has repeatedly testified, ‘the only market for the tuna from American Samoa is the U.S.’ If operations in American Samoa are forced to downsize, the Territory will suffer insurmountable financial difficulties.”
“As I have stated before, this legislation poses a serious threat to the economy of American Samoa. This is why I am pleased that the Southeast Asian Nations are also opposed to Andean efforts to include canned tuna in the Andean Trade Preference Agreement,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“In a recent letter to Donald Evans, Secretary of Commerce, the Southeast Asian nations pointed out that granting duty-free treatment to canned tuna from one region at the expense of another could be seen as a discriminatory trade practice. As the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, I believe it is important for the administration to consider the views of the Southeast Asian nations.”
“As a member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I also support U.S. efforts to curb drug production in Latin America. But I have made it clear to the appropriate federal agencies that American Samoa pays its allegiance to the United States and deserves fairness, equity, and due consideration,” Faleomavaega said.
“I have also brought these matters
to the attention of the Governor and our local leaders. I am hopeful
that as this matter progresses, we will be able to achieve a favorable
outcome for our Territory,” Faleomavaega concluded.
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