WASHINGTON–DC–Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry (D- MA) was recently joined by Senators Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in supporting key legislation–which would open greater trade opportunities between the US and Armenia–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.)
"Armenian Americans in Massachusetts–New Jersey–Maryland and around the nation appreciate the support of Senators Kerry–Corzine and Mikulski for S.1557 and look forward to working with their offices and committee leadership to help secure passage of this important legislation at the earliest opportunity," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
The legislation–S.1557–was introduced this August by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY)–Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)–and Barbara Boxer (D- CA). When enacted–it will extend permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to Republic of Armenia. The companion measure in the House–H.R.528–introduced by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co- Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–now has 109 cosponsors.
The legislation would ensure lower tariffs on Armenian imports to the US and give greater Armenian access to US government credit facilities on a permanent basis. Permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status ensures lower duties on Armenian imports to the US–creating incentives for increased trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. As such–the measure strengthens bilateral relations between the two countries and helps reinforce the enduring friendship between the American and Armenian peoples. Increased US-Armenia trade and investment also helps to offset the impact of the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades–estimated by the World Bank at up to $720 million a year.