March 18, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to a call for public comment, the Armenian National Committee of America today urged members of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade to support extending permanent normalized trade relations (PNTR) status to Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.)

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Phil Crane (R-IL) has invited interested parties to submit letters regarding PNTR for Armenia through April 21, 2003. Legislation (H.R.528), introduced by Congressional Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), seeks to authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (PNTR) to the products of Armenia. If this bill becomes law, the United States would be able to extend PNTR to Armenia, and all rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization agreed to by the two countries would apply to the United States.

In its March 18th letter to Chairman Crane, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian first thanked the Subcommittee for its attention to the strengthening of U.S.-Armenia trade relations and then stressed that, “Armenia’s accession [to the WTO] represented its commitment to market-oriented economic reform, trade liberalization, and foreign investment.” However, Hamparian noted that:

“In order for Armenia’s economic growth to continue and for its benefits to reach more people, Armenia needs to increase investment and trade. Armenia is dedicated to expanding its economic relationship with the United States, but, without PNTR, Armenia loses its ability to attract viable export markets in and investment from the United States. At the same time, without PNTR, American entrepreneurs who see Armenia as an emerging economy with potential for investment and trade hesitate to establish ventures that cannot be protected by WTO rules or to import Armenian goods at higher, non-MFN tariff rates.”

A link to the full text of the ANCA letter is provided below.

Armenian Americans, companies, and institutions interested in voicing their support for PNTR for Armenia can submit their written statements for the printed record by the close of business on Monday, April 21, 2003 to both:

Fax: (202) 225-2610.

Documents must be prepared in Word Perfect or MS Word format and must not exceed a total of 10 pages including attachments. Any statements must include a list of all clients, persons, or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each statement listing the name, company, address, telephone and fax numbers of each witness.

For additional information and Committee guidelines, visit:


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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