|July 16, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—HOUSE AND SENATE EXPECTED TO BEGIN CONFERENCE ON ANDEAN TRADE BILL|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that final conferees have been selected and the House and
Senate are now expected to begin a conference on trade legislation which
includes the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA).
The House will be represented by Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and Phil Crane (R-IL), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. Other House conferees will deal with specific sections not associated with the ATPA.
“The Senate will be represented by three Democrats and two Republicans,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, John Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Breaux (D-LA) will be the Democratic conferees while Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will be the Republican conferees.”
“These Senators will negotiate with the House conferees to resolve the differences between two trade bills, both of which include the ATPA. In the Senate version of the ATPA, the amount of canned tuna that Andean countries could export duty-free is limited thanks to the efforts of our coalition. In the House version, there is no limit and all canned tuna from the Andean countries would be given duty-free treatment,” the Congressman said.
“During conference, the House and Senate will decide which version will be signed into law or what kind of compromise can be worked out between these two positions. Because of how serious this outcome is for our Territory, I am extremely pleased with the five Senators that have been selected to negotiate this matter with the House. Four of these five Senators, including Orrin Hatch--a senior Republican from Utah and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade--voted in favor of our compromise during the Senate Finance Committee mark-up of the Andean Trade bill,” Faleomavaega said.
“I am deeply appreciative that both my Democratic and Republican colleagues continue to stand by my side on this important trade matter. From the beginning, I have worked to build a strong base of bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate and I want to thank my Democratic and Republican friends for working with me to protect American Samoa and the U.S. tuna fishing and processing industries.”
“Although we do not know what the outcome of these negotiations may be, I have not relented and will not relent in my efforts to protect American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “As I have repeatedly stated, our economy is more than 80% dependent, either directly or indirectly, on the U.S. tuna industry. Put another way, we are a one-industry economy and, no matter what, I will continue to fight to protect our fragile island economy.”
“Two weeks ago, I met with Congressman Charles Rangel, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over trade matters. Congressman Rangel has been selected to be a House conferee and his support on the House side is critical to our success. I am pleased to report that Congressman Rangel has given me his full support and commitment and I thank him for his gift of friendship.”
“I also thank every cannery worker, every business owner, every man and woman in this Territory who are united in this cause. Together, we are making a difference and I thank you for your continued support,” Faleomavaega concluded.
|Press Release List|