ANCA Welcomes Committee Chairman's Attention to Legislation

March 5, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Phil Crane (R-IL), today announced that his panel is requesting written public comments from all parties interested in the extension of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) treatment to products from Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

On February 4, 2003, Representatives Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, introduced H.R. 528, a bill 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.

“We very much appreciate Chairman Crane’s interest in strengthening the U.S.-Armenia trade relationship,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We look forward, during the public comment period, to working with American businesses and Armenian American institutions in sharing with members of the Committee how the adoption of H.R.528 will create economic benefits for the United States and will help to further strengthen the enduring bonds between the American and Armenian peoples.”

Armenia is subject to the Jackson-Vanik provisions in Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-618), which govern the extension of normalied trade relations (NTR) to non-market economy countries ineligible for such status as of the enactment of the Trade Act. Armenia was first extended NTR in 1992 under a waiver from the freedom of emigration requirements in the statute. In 1997, the President found Armenia and Moldova to be in full compliance with the emigration criteria, and the trade status of both countries remains subject to semi-annual Jackson-Vanik compliance determinations by the President, which are vulnerable to a resolution of disapproval by Congress. To date, no Member has introduced such a resolution concerning Armenia or Moldova.

Section 122 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (P.L. 103-465) requires Congressional consultation prior to any country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The United States Trade Representative transmitted detailed materials to the Committee on Ways and Means on the accessions of Moldova and Armenia to the WTO on March 9, 2001 and December 4, 2002, respectively. Moldova acceded to the WTO on July 26, 2001, and Armenia joined the body on February 5, 2003. Because the United States has not extended PNTR status to Armenia, due to the continued application of the Jackson-Vanik provisions to both countries, the United States has invoked the non-application clause of the WTO (Article XIII). Until PNTR is extended to Armenia, the WTO Agreements and the terms of their accessions will not be formally applied between each country and the United States, and U.S. trade relations with each country will continue to be governed by bilateral trade agreements.

Written statements for the printed record of the hearing should be sent 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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