Bilateral Economic Accord Was Adopted in 2015 following Sustained ANCA Advocacy
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America, which spearheaded a decade-long Armenian American advocacy campaign leading up to the 2015 signing of the U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), welcomes the upcoming March 19th meeting in Washington, DC of the working council created by this bilateral economic accord.
“We look forward to the upcoming TIFA Council meeting in Washington and want to share our special thanks with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative – led by Ambassador Lighthizer – for hosting this constructive platform for the expansion of U.S.-Armenia commercial relations,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We also want to express our appreciation to all those who, in the years leading up the May 2015 TIFA signing, joined with the ANCA and other key stakeholders in making this accord a reality – every dedicated official at USTR or State Department, every Armenian official, every American legislator who weighed in, every activist who wrote a letter, every corporation that raised its voice. You made a difference then, and you will again, as we seek a new U.S. Double Tax Treaty, a long overdue next step in the growth of U.S.-Armenia economic relations.”
The Armenian delegation to the TIFA talks will be led by the Deputy Minister of Economy, Hovhannes Azizyan. In recent weeks, senior U.S. and Armenian officials, including U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills and Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan have each underscored their commitment to taking the concrete steps needed to further expand the U.S.-Armenia economic partnership.
The ANCA began advocating for a TIFA a decade ago, working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, Democratic and Republican-led Congresses, and businesses, and civil society stakeholders, to foster broad consensus around the idea of expanding U.S.-Armenia economic ties and then to help catalyze the execution of key policy deliverables. The TIFA was ultimately signed during a ceremony in Washington in May of 2015.
The ANCA consistently presented merit-based facts to key decision-makers, backing up this policy-level engagement with a sustained campaign of Congressional pressure, grassroots letter-writing, and corporate advocacy. In a June 2010 letter to then U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the ANCA stressed that a TIFA would fuel U.S. economic growth and strengthen our nation’s bond with the Armenian people by providing “a consistent platform for our government to meet and consult on a regular basis with Armenian government officials regarding broadening our economic cooperation and expanding opportunities for trade and investment.”
A Yerkir Media news program, from November of 2010, reviewed pro-TIFA diplomatic and advocacy efforts.
The ANCA also played a key role in securing Permanent Normal Trade Relations status for Armenia, and is currently working with the Administration and Congress in support of a Double Tax Treaty.