Armenian Ministry of Economy to Seek Adoption of U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), on the eve of a key bilateral meeting in Yerevan of the U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force, has, once again, called upon the Obama Administration to initiate negotiations with Armenia to establish a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
The ANCA has, in a series of letters to Obama Administration officials, State Department meetings, correspondence with Congress, briefing papers, and legislative action alerts, called for the White House to pursue a U.S.-Armenia TIFA. This accord, once in place, would establish an ongoing bilateral platform for discussion and cooperation about practical steps that can be taken to increase U.S.-Armenia trade and investment. Congressmen Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) have each, separately, written to the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ronald Kirk, in support of such an agreement.
In a recent television interview with Yerkir Media in Yerevan, Dr. Varos Simonyan, the head of the Armenian Ministry of Economy’s European Union and International Economic Affairs Department, expressed the Armenian government’s support for a U.S.-Armenia TIFA, and explained the intention of the Armenian government to discuss this issue during the November 15th meeting of the Joint Economic Task Force.
In a June 11, 2010 letter to the USTR, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian explained that, “the establishment of such an bilateral agreement would build upon our current economic dialogue with Armenia. This type of discourse takes place today, in large measure, within the context of the U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force. A TIFA agreement would provide a broader, ongoing, and more consistent platform for our government to meet and consult with Armenian government officials regarding expanding our economic cooperation and exploring opportunities for trade and investment.” The U.S. has TIFAs with Georgia, Ukraine, and several dozen other nations.