American Samoa minimum wage to increase despite moratorium

American Samoa's minimum wage will likely increase this week, despite the US House of Representatives extending a wage moratorium that was due to expire at the end of the month.

American Samoa's Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen's office says a deal has been worked out with the local tuna companies that will provide some increase in the minimum wage but not the 50-cents that had been set.

Behind-the-scenes negotiations have been going on for weeks, forced by objections to a complete moratorium from Georgia, which is home to a rival tuna processor.

Congresswoman Radewagen made a tearful plea to the House.

"There aren't numerous military and government facilities that provide sources of economic growth. We are not surrounded by fellow states that enable us to expand to other markets. All we have is the tuna industry and we are grateful."

Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen.