American Samoa

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About American Samoa

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States, with strong political and economic links to the US.

It has five main islands and two coral atolls and covers 199km2 of land. It is south east of the Samoan Islands chain, about half way between New Zealand and Hawaii. Most of the 55,000 American Samoans live on the largest island, Tutuila.

New Zealand’s relationship with American Samoa is based on solid trade and economic links, as well as shared interests in Pacific issues. We are both involved in regional fora including the Pacific Islands Forum, where New Zealand is a member state and American Samoa is an observer.


New Zealand is a significant contributor towards American Samoa’s goods imports, but trade in services is an increasingly important feature of the trading relationship.

New Zealand tuna fishing vessels operate in the area and supply American Samoan canneries. Canned tuna is the backbone of their private sector economy, accounting for approximately 90% of their exports.


Two-way trade NZD$35 million*  
Goods exports to American Samoa NZD$25 million* Top goods exports: materials for tuna canneries, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts
Goods imports from American Samoa NZD$1 million* Top goods imports: canned tuna, fresh fruit and vegetables
GDP USD$634 million  
GDP per capita USD$11,390 NZ GDP per capita is US$41,267^

Sources: *NZ Trade Dashboard(external link) ^IMF WEO April 2019(external link) ^World Bank(external link)

Development cooperation

As American Samoa is a United States territory, New Zealand doesn’t have a role supporting its development.

However there are many opportunities for us to work with the United States and American Samoa, including addressing regional issues such as non-communicable diseases and climate change.

New Zealand also sent humanitarian aid to American Samoa in response to the September 2009 earthquake and tsunami which caused 34 deaths and widespread damage to infrastructure, homes and businesses.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to American Samoa

  • August 2009: Mayor of Manukau City, Len Brown, led a Manukau City Trade Mission to American Samoa
  • July-August 2008: Maori King Tuheitia, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Judith Tizard and Toi Maori Chair Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku led a cultural delegation to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago

American Samoa to New Zealand

  • April 2013: Member of the House of Representatives Taotasi Archie Soliai took part in the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Auckland.
  • March 2013: Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga attended the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland


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