Trump’s Budget Cuts Armenia Assistance by Almost 70 Percent

Trump's proposed FY18 budget
Trump's proposed FY18 budget

Trump’s proposed FY18 budget

WASHINGTON—The budget unveiled Monday by the Trump administration will see a drastic 70 percent–69.6 percent–cut in aid to Armenia over the fiscal year 2017 budget, which allocated $22.4 million in assistance to Armenia. Trump’s budget is calling for a $6.8 million aid package to Armenia.

“We are troubled by President Trump’s ill-advised and misguided proposal to sharply cut aid to Armenia. His budget recommendation underscores the need to work with Congressional appropriators to reverse these reductions, while redoubling our efforts to empower Armenia’s aid-to-trade transition,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

“Building on 2015’s Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and leveraging the five hundred million dollars in new U.S. investments in Armenia, we need to put in place a badly-needed Double Tax Treaty, launch direct Los Angeles to Yerevan flights, secure an MCC Science and Technology education grant for Armenian schools, and undertake other targeted commercial initiatives to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia bilateral economic relationship,” added Hamparian.

Under the Administration’s budget, aid to Armenia would be reduced by 70 percent, dropping from $22.4 million in FY17 to $6.8 million proposed for FY18. The Trump budget also reduces assistance to Azerbaijan by 90 percent as compared with FY16 to $1 million.

The Trump budget request for Armenia envisions $4 million in Economic Support and Development Fund, $1.5 million for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, and $700,000 for Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs. Military parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan is maintained in the proposed budget with each receiving $600,000 for International Military Education and Training and cuts Foreign Military Financing to both countries. In the FY17 budget $1 million was allocated for FMF.

In early April, the Congressional Armenian Caucus called on key U.S. House appropriators to prioritize Fiscal Year 2018 foreign aid policies “strengthening Armenia’s independence, promoting peace in Nagorno Karabakh, and supporting Armenia as a regional safe haven for at-risk Middle East refugees.

Among the specific priorities advanced by the Caucus were:

— U.S. support for Armenia as a regional safe haven for Middle East refugees, in the form of a $40 million appropriation to support transitional programs, including short-term housing/rental assistance and social and economic integration initiatives.

— A renewed focus on aid to Artsakh, with an appropriation of at least $8 million for de-mining, rehabilitation programs (such as the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center), and water supply systems.

— A focused effort to check Azerbaijani aggression, through the appropriation of at least $20 million to support implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals, the suspension of U.S. military aid to Baku, and the strengthening of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.

— An appropriation of at least $40 million in economic aid to Armenia, and no less than $11 million in military aid, with a focus on advancing U.S.-Armenia defense cooperation goals, promoting NATO interoperability, and supporting increased Armenia’s participation in global peacekeeping operations.

In March, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) delivered powerful testimony before key House foreign aid appropriators, calling for the expansion of U.S. assistance to Artsakh and Armenia, and the implementation of measures to check escalating Azerbaijani aggression.

ANCA’s Hamparian also noted that the organization will continue working with congressional leaders to ensure that a portion of the Trump’s proposed $2.75 billion allocated to Migration and Refugee Assistance would go to Armenia, which has accepted a large number of refugees from Syria over the course of the past several years.

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6 Comments

  1. Monte said:

    We are troubled by President Trump’s ill-advised and misguided proposal to sharply cut aid to Armenia. really you are troubled about what over a few million dollars , lets see all the 200 hundred thousand cars leaving from the US ports to Armenia and you are not troubled over that , or lets see Armenias natural resources are being raped by you know exactly who and you are troubled over few millions , there are as we speak over 10 billionaires in Armenia as we speak and you are troubled over few million you must be smoking some thing . Thas not compare to the millions are being sucked out of Armenia every year so take your bullshit elsewhere and blow smoke on some one elses ass .

  2. Monte said:

    lets see all the 200 hundred thousand dollar cars leaving from the US ports to Armenia . i can care less who does what or when but be real and dont act like a beggar in here , take the whining and the moaning to azgayin joxov thats where the money is .

  3. State of Emergency said:

    What’s the difference? The 22 million does not buy anything of value anyway so another cut is like depriving the homeless of a home….

  4. Alex Ham said:

    That is a great job Trump can do. This is none of America’s business! The conflict between Armenia and Turks must be solved by themselves and Iranians and Russians.

  5. Armen Armenian said:

    Typical evil USA and Turkish mentally.That is why everyone in the world hates their countries. God bless Armenia and All Armenians around the world.

  6. John said:

    Well done President Trump. May you stay President forever… If I were the president, I would end the practice of giving free money to all countries.

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