Samoa's entry into World Trade Organization set for Sunday

In Samoa, Govt urged to hold off
SIGNING ON: Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo and U.S. Permanent Representative to the WTO Michael Punke sign the duties and market access agreement between the two countries in Geneva. [Samoa Observer]

In Brussels, BNO News is reporting that the European Union (EU) on Thursday welcomed the expected endorsement for Samoa, Montenegro, and Russia to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). It brings the total number of WTO member states to 157.

Samoa's endorsement will come on Sunday.

However, there is opposition in Samoa led by the Ole Siosiomaga Society (OLSSI). In a letter to the government they say a number of organizations have voiced objections over the last few years on the lack of broad national consultation about what the free trade agreement means for Samoa.

In November, Bloomberg press in an article titled,'Stopping turkey tails at the border pits trade against health' reported the WTO "welcomed the nation, with a population of about 193,000, once Samoa agreed to end its ban on the fatty poultry scraps (turkey tails) and impose import tariffs instead."

They quote Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, Samoa’s director general of health saying, “These are the contradictions we have to face--where health is compromised for the sake of trade and development.”

“We feel it’s the consumers’ right to determine what foods they wish to consume, not the government’s,” countered James H. Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

The Samoa Observer reports the full text of the Ole Siosiomaga Society's letter to the government.


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