President Bush’s Trade Policy Report Cites Progress on US Armenia Economic Cooperation

WASHINGTON–DC–President Bush’s annual Trade Policy Report cites progress across a broad range of areas of US-Armenia economic cooperation–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"We are gratified to see that the steady progress in US-Armenia economic relations is reflected in the President’s annual trade report to Congress," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "We look forward–in the weeks and months ahead–to building on this momentum by encouraging the negotiation of both a treaty eliminating double taxation and an agreement clarifying the Social Security obligations and entitlemen’s of those dividing either their careers or their retiremen’s between the US and Armenia."

The President’s annual trade report is submitted to Congress by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). It details the benefits of foreign trade for US businesses–farmers and ranchers–service providers and consumers–reviews the Administration’s accomplishmen’s of 2005–and lays out its agenda for 2006. Additional information on this report can be found at: www.ustr.gov.

The provisions of the report that deal specifically with Armenia are as follows:

1. Normalization of US-Armenia Trade Relations

"In 2004–Congress passed the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004 which authorized the President to terminate application of Jackson-Vanik to Armenia. On January 7–2005–the President signed a proclamation terminating application of Jackson-Vanik to Armenia and granting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) tariff treatment to products of Armenia. Based on the President’s proclamation granting products from Armenia PNTR treatment–the United States and Armenia can apply the WTO between them and have recourse to WTO dispute settlement procedures."

2. Expansion of US-Armenia Trade and Investment

"The United States continues to actively support political and economic reforms in Central Asia and the Caucasus–which includes the former Soviet countries of Armenia–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Kazakhstan–Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan–Turkmen’stan–and Uzbekistan. The United States has been striving to construct a framework for the development of strong trade and investment links with this region. This approach has been pursued both bilaterally and multilaterally. The United States currently has Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) in force with Armenia–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Kazakhstan–and Kyrgyzstan–and has signed a BIT with Uzbekistan–which has not yet entered into force."

3. Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights

"In 2003–due to improvemen’s made to Armenia’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime–the US Government closed the review of the IPR industry’s petition with respect to Armenia."

4. Promotion of Economic Growth Through Duty-Free Exports

"Armenia–Georgia–Kazakhstan–Kyrgyzstan–and Uzbekistan participate in the GSP program. In 2004–Azerbaijan submitted an application for designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP program which is under consideration." (The GSP is a program to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for more than 4,650 products from 144 designated beneficiary countries and territories.)

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