Congressional Support for Normalization of US Armenia Trade Relations Grows to Over 90

RESOLUTION INTRODUCED BY REPS. KNOLLENBERG AND PALLONE CONTINUES TO GENERATE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT WASHINGTON–DC–Support for pro-US/Armenia trade legislation continued to gain broad bi-partisan support this week–as the list of House cosponsors for H.Res.528 reached 94–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Introduced by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–the legislation would grant permanent normal trade relations status to the Republic of Armenia. The proposal of the legislation followed Armenia’s formal entry into the World Trade Organization in February of this year.

The passing of the legislation would ensure lower tariffs on Armenian imports to the US–thus creating an incentive for increased trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. It would also give Armenia greater access to US government credit facilities on permanent basis. Furthermore–the increased US-Armenia trade and investment helps also offset the impact of the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades–estimated by the World Bank to cost Armenia up to $720 million a year. Finally–the measure strengthens bilateral relations between the two countries and helps reinforce the enduring friendship between the American and Armenian peoples.

"We are encouraged by the growing support for this legislation and look forward to its adoption by the Congress at the first opportunity," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "The broad-based support for this measure reflects an appreciation–on both sides of the aisle–that increased US-Armenia trade represents a key element of Armenia’s continued economic growth and an important foundation for the further development of the warm and long-standing ties between the American and Armenian peoples."

H.Res.528 is currently under consideration by the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade–which invited public commen’s on the issue earlier this year. In the ANCA letter to the Trade Subcommittee–Hamparian cited the importance of adopting H.Res.528 at the first opportunity.

Since its introduction–ANCA chapters and activists across the country have contacted their Representatives in support of H.Res.528. Most recently–the ANCA 2003 Leo Sarkisian interns have conducted an intensive Congressional awareness campaign in support of the measure. These nine university students from across the country will continue to contact Congressional offices in the final three weeks of the program in Washington–DC. "I am glad to be part of the effort to increase Congressional support for normalizing trade relations between the US and Armenia," explained Villanova junior Niherie Miller. "I look forward to its swift consideration on the House floor."

Joining Reps. Knollenberg and Pallone as sponsors of H.R.528 are the following Representatives: Gary Ackerman (D-NY)–Tom Allen (D-ME)–Robert Andrews (D-NJ)–Joe Baca (D-CA)–Shelley Berkley (D-NV)–Howard Berman (D-CA)–Michael Bilirakis (R-FL)–Sherrod Brown (D-OH)–Ken Calvert (R-CA)–Dave Camp (R-MI)–Eric Cantor (R-VA)–Michael Capuano (D-MA)–Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)–Jerry Costello (D-IL)–Joseph Crowley (D-NY)–Duke Cunningham (R-CA)–Calvin Dooley (D-CA)–David Dreier (R-CA)–Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)–Eliot Engel (D-NY)–Philip English (R-PA)–Anna Eshoo (D-CA)–Tom Feeney (R-FL)–Mike Ferguson (R-NJ)–Bob Filner (D-CA)–Mark Foley (R-FL)–Martin Frost (D-TX)–Elton Gallegly (R-CA)–Scott Garrett (R-NJ)–Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)–Gil Gutknecht (R-MN)–J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)–Joe Hoeffel (D-PA)–Michael Honda (D-CA)–Steve Israel (D-NY)–Jesse Jackson (D-IL)–Sue Kelly (R-NY)–Mark Kennedy (R-MN)–Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)–Dale Kildee (D-MI)–Mark Kirk (R-IL)–Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–James Langevin (D-RI)–William Lipinski (D-IL)–Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)–Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)–Edward Markey (D-MA)–Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)–Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)–Jim McDermott (D-WA)–James McGovern (D-MA)–John McHugh (R-NY)–Michael McNulty (D-NY)–Martin Meehan (D-MA)–Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)–Candice Miller (R-MI)–James Moran (D-VA)–Grace Napolitano (D-CA)–Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)–Devin Nunes (R-CA)–John Olver (D-MA)–Ron Paul (R-TX)–Donald Payne (D-NJ)–Collin Peterson (D-MN)–George Radanovich (R-CA)–Jim Ramstad (R-MN)–Charles Rangel (D-NY)–Steven Rothman (D-NJ)–Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)–Edward Royce (R-CA)–Bobby Rush (D-IL)–Paul Ryan (R-WI)–Linda Sanchez (D-CA)–H. James Saxton (R-NJ)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–Christopher Shays (R-CT)–Brad Sherman (D-CA)–Christopher Smith (R-NJ)–Hilda Solis (D-CA)–Mark Souder (R-IN)–John Sweeney (R-NY)–Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)–Lee Terry (R-NE)–John Tierney (D-MA)–Edolphus Towns (D-NY)–Fred Upton (R-MI)–Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD)–Peter Visclosky (D-IN)–Diane Watson (D-CA)–Henry Waxman (D-CA)–Anthony Weiner (D-NY)–Robert Wexler (D-FL)–and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

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