SACRAMENTO–Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Saturday vetoed a bill that would have kept the California-Armenia Trade Office running through 2010.
The governor said the signing of the bill was “premature” as the state has been in the process of establishing a new state international trade strategy.
Established in 2002 under legislation by state Sen. Jack Scott, the office, with headquarters in Los Angeles and Yeravan, worked with no funding from taxpayers, but rather by connecting California businesses with Armenia through the non-profit Foundation for Economic Development.
“The creation of an Armenian trade office was prudent in 2002 when the Legislature instituted the office,” said the governor. “Since then, the Legislature has closed all other trade offices throughout the world and last year passed legislation mandating the creation of a state international trade strategy.”
“The trade office provides a great opportunity for California businesses to have access to the Near East and the states of the former Soviet Union with no cost to California taxpayers,” Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, who this year co-sponsored Scott’s bill to extend the office’s life told the Glendale News-Press Monday.
“I regret very much the governor’s decision to veto SB 515 …” Scott said in a statement. “I believe the office has made strides in promoting the economic relationship between California and Armenia. Once the agency’s report regarding state investment strategies has been released, I will certainly look at options for the trade office within the framework of the report.”