|May 25, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA TO SPEAK AT WORLD TUNA TRADE CONFERENCE|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that he has been invited to speak at the World Tuna Trade
Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 30, 2002.
“This is the first time in our 49 year history with the tuna industry that American Samoa will have a voice in a global discussion about the future of the industry,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “It is also the first time the organizers of the World Tuna Trade Conference have invited a Member of Congress to speak. This has come about as a result of American Samoa’s involvement in the Andean Trade debate.”
“The people of American Samoa united in an effort to protect the future of our economy and industry leaders around the world took notice. These leaders are now realizing the important role our Territory plays in the global tuna industry,” Faleomavaega said.
“INFOFISH (the Intergovernmental Organization for marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for Fishery Products in the Asia and Pacific Region) has asked me to speak about the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and the impact duty revisions would have on American Samoa and the U.S. tuna fishing and processing industries. INFOFISH will be hosting the World Tuna Conference in collaboration with FAO-GLOBEFISH, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), Thai Food Processors’ Association, the World Tuna Purse Seine Organization (WTPO), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
More than 500 professionals, including industry leaders, investors, policymakers and planners from Europe, Thailand, the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and other countries are expected to be in attendance. The three day conference will focus on the latest issues and trends in the global tuna industry and will be dedicated to such topics as products, markets, trade policies, tuna cannery reduction and environmental issues. Speakers include over 30 top tuna industry specialists and experts such as the Director of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the President of the World Tuna Purse Seine Organization (WTPO), the President of Fong Kuo Fishery Co. of Taiwan, the Deputy Director of the Japan Fisheries Agency. Experts and analysts from Russia, Spain, the UK, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands are also expected to speak.
“The multibillion dollar world tuna industry is a vital component of our economy,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Any fluctuation in the world market affects the long-term stability of American Samoa’s economy which is more than 80% dependent, either directly or indirectly, on the U.S. tuna and fishing processing industries.”
“As has been repeatedly stated, the only market for canned tuna from American Samoa is the United States. If other countries are given duty-free access to the U.S. market, then American Samoa’s economy will be adversely affected. American Samoa is not alone in insisting that the outcome of the ATPA may adversely affect its economy,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Thailand, the Philippines and the other ASEAN countries also argue that if the Andean countries are given duty-free access, their economies will be adversely affected. In fact, the ASEAN countries recently informed the U.S. Congress that if the U.S. provides duty-free treatment to canned tuna from the Andean countries, it could result in job losses of up to 1 million in the ASEAN tuna processing industry.”
“The bottom line is the global tuna industry is intertwined. What happens in one region affects another. This is why the ATPA is no simple matter,” Faleomavaega said. “This is also why the ATPA is a matter of international concern.
“Tuna is now being used as an instrument of foreign policy to eradicate drugs and terrorism,” the Congressman continued. “For reasons completed unrelated to production, capacity, consumption, and conservation, the U.S. is in a predicament where we must address issues of uneven policies and preferential treatment. As the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, I am pleased that American Samoa continues to have a voice in defining these policies.”
“We continue to be heard in Congress and global leaders in the industry also continue to take notice of our views,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I want to thank the organizers of the World Tuna Trade Conference and Dennis Mussell, CEO of Chicken of the Sea/Samoa Packing, for extending this invitation. As I have previously stated, this is the first time in our 49-year history with the U.S. tuna industry that American Samoa will have a voice in a global discussion about the future of the industry and I am honored to represent our people on this historic occasion.”
|Press Release List|