Congressman Bob Filner announced today his support for establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Armenia.
"By permanently normalizing trade relations–we will not only help foster continued growth–we will also increase the level of trade between our nations–improving overall US-Armenia relations," said Congressman Filner.
Armenia’s free market reforms continue to generate impressive economic growth – twelve percent over the last year – despite the devastating impact of the dual blockades of its eastern and western borders. The costs to Armenia of the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades are estimated by the World Bank at $720 million a year–or roughly one third of Armenia’s entire economic output.
In February of this year–Armenia became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Armenia’s acceptance into this international organization reflects its impressive progress towards enacting free-market reforms. As a member of the WTO–Armenia’s opportunities for international trade will dramatically increase. The granting of PNTR to Armenia will help both US and Armenian business take full advantage of Armenia’s WTO membership.
Congressman Filner has agreed to co-sponsor H.R.528–authored by Congressmen Joe Knollenberg (R-Michigan) and Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey). This bill would expand the level of trade and investment between the US and Armenia–while helping to integrate Armenia’s free market into the world economy. This bill will also help Armenia reach a level of economic self-sufficiency to offset the harshest effects of the dual Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades.