The concessions enjoyed by exports of canned tuna from American Samoa to the United States play a very important role in making local tuna products competitive in the US market.
However, recent trade agreements are seen as a threat to the local canneries as they essentially offer the same breaks to foreign produced tuna cans.
One such trade pact is the Trans Pacific Partnership signed by 12 countries in February, which covers 40% of the world’s economy.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama treated trade deals as a priority, but US opponents have characterized the TPP as a secretive deal that favored big business and other countries at the expense of jobs and national sovereignty.
The member states are the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.
The pact aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth.
Joe Hamby Chief Operating Officer of Tri Marine International says duty free access for local canned tuna to the US is a major factor in keeping their products competitive.