LOS ANGELES – In a move welcomed today by the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR), Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) has formally called upon U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to begin negotiations with Armenia on a modern Double Tax Treaty, a longstanding ANCA public policy priority.
Congresswoman Chu joins her Golden State colleague, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), in authoring letters to Secretary Lew, emphasizing the mutual benefits of a treaty that will eliminate the prospect of double taxation, a danger which is widely viewed as holding back the growth of bilateral commerce, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) sector.
In her letter, Congresswoman Chu outlined the importance of such a treaty, stating, “A modern tax treaty – beyond reducing the threat of double taxation – would facilitate the growth of commercial relations, enhance job creation in both countries and provide Armenia with greater options and increased independence in dealing with Russian and other regional powers.”
“We are pleased that Congresswoman Chu is working to create jobs – here in the U.S. and also in Armenia – by pressing for a modernized U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty,” remarked ANCA-WR Chair, Nora Hovsepian. “The ANCA-WR is committed to removing the threat of double-taxation, a serious barrier to the growth of mutually-beneficial commerce in IT, manufacturing, financial services, agricultural products, and other fields.
In December 2015, members of the ANCA – WR leadership met with Congresswoman Chu to discuss the importance of this trade agreement as a part of the “ANCA DC Fly-In” initiative. During this meeting, community representatives also discussed current U.S. investments in Armenia, particularly in the IT field and emphasized how they can be enhanced by limiting double taxation.
“On behalf of the ANCA of Pasadena, which represents thousands of Armenian American constituents in Congressman Chu’s Congressional District, we say thank you to the Congresswoman for urging the Obama Administration to pursue a Double Tax Treaty with the Republic of Armenia,” commented Vahe Majarian, ANCA Pasadena Chair. “Congresswoman Chu’s effort on this matter highlights her pro-active leadership in addressing matters of deep concern to the growing Armenian American constituency in California’s 27th Congressional District,” added Majarian.
In August of last year, senior ANCA officials met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in Washington, DC to press for a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty. The current treaty governing double taxation issues between the two countries is the 1973 U.S.-U.S.S.R. Tax Treaty, an outdated forty year-old accord. The lack of a double tax treaty between the United States and Armenia creates legal uncertainty that deters potential U.S. investors, diverts investment flows and disadvantages American businesses seeking to invest in the Republic of Armenia.
Congresswoman Judy Chu represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California. She has been a staunch supporter of the Armenian American community since she was elected in 2009 and has co-authored the annual Armenian Genocide resolutions as well as a number of other federal pieces of legislation.
A two-page ANCA fact sheet on a U.S-Armenia Double Tax Treaty can be found at this link: http://anca.org/assets/pdf/ANCA_Double_Tax_Treaty.pdf
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.