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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Modernize Shipyard Service Facility in American Samoa Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the American Samoa Shipyard Services Authority, Pago Pago, American Samoa, to support the acquisition of equipment, machinery, and tools needed to modernize the Shipyard Service Facility located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters modernize their infrastructure to support economic growth and resiliency,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project located in an Opportunity Zone will provide the American Samoa Shipyard Service Authority with the necessary resources to modernize the Shipyard Service Facility to keep our great Pacific fishing fleets operating continuously and profitably for years to come.”

“Tropical Cyclone Gita caused widespread damage to American Samoa in 2018,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will help American Samoa become more economically resilient in the event of future natural disasters and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will help drive additional private investment to the territory.”

“Improving shipyard equipment and keeping up facilities helps American Samoa put our exceptional natural harbor to best use,” said Representative Aumua Amata. “Thank you again to Secretary Ross and Assistant Secretary Gartzke for recognizing this need, and supporting our opportunity zone just as Congress intended to benefit the local economy. Congratulations to Shipyard Chairman HC Liu Siakisone Liu.”

The funding announced today goes to one of American Samoa’s 16 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources page here. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report to President Trump.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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