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The wage increases prompted the closure of the Chicken of the Sea tuna cannery in American Samoa, the only cannery on the island competing with StarKist. The tuna canning industry is the largest source of private-sector employment on the island.

Both territories are scheduled for more wage increases. A 50-cent rise is scheduled for Sept. 30 in the Northern Mariana Islands, and further wage hikes are set for Sept. 30, 2015, in American Samoa. Additional increases are scheduled every three years.

Governors in the island territories are protesting further wage increases. The governor of the Northern Mariana Islands has said he supports postponement of the minimum wage increase. In American Samoa, the governor has said he would “pursue changes in U.S. Law to allow American Samoa to take control of its minimum wage.”

Mr. Abramoff, who served 43 months in prison for his conviction in a corruption and ethics case, said he fears that continued wage increases as scheduled would further damage the economies of both islands.

“[Congress] should roll back the increase they put in place. The discussion should not be about increasing further, but taking away this horrible policy,” he said. “It is astounding that they would even consider continuing to raise this rate.”

The GAO report raises concerns about the economic effects of minimum wage increases in the United States.

Some research indicates that a wage hike in the U.S. would have similar effects to those in the island territories.

According to a study conducted by the American Action Forum, a $1-per-hour wage increase would lead to an unemployment rate increase of 1.48 percent and a 0.18 percent decrease in net job growth. The study found that high minimum wages in 19 states could lead to a surge in unemployment by 747,700 workers and a reduction of 83,300 jobs.

“Raising the minimum wage is a bad idea because it harms job growth and it hurts the ability to hire workers, and that impact will differ depending on the local work markets,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum. “What we will see most likely is a big impact on retail trade and people working behind commerce and in restaurants. Places where low-skilled workers who dominate the minimum wage debate tend to be hired.”

President Obama has called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by the end of 2015. The administration hopes the wage increase will address high levels of income inequality. The White House estimates that the wage increase would boost earnings for 15 million low-income workers.

In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama noted wage inequality by saying, “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong.”

The Congressional Budget Office reported that raising the hourly minimum wage to $9 would cost 100,000 jobs and an increase to $10.10 would cost 500,000 jobs.