September 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the influential Foreign Relations Committee, was joined this week by Sen. Norm Colman (D-MN) and Robert Menendez, the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, in supporting legislation to normalize trade relations between the United States and Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“The support of Chairman Lugar, Senator Coleman and Congressman Menendez is deeply appreciated by Armenian Americans from across the nation, said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We are hopeful that the relevant committee leadership in both the Senate and House will act favorably on this legislation and that it will be enacted into law at the earliest opportunity.”

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 U.S. and give greater Armenian access to U.S. government credit facilities on a permanent basis. Permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status ensures lower duties on Armenian imports to the U.S., 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 U.S.-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.


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 *
Your generosity empowers our advocacy, inspires our work, and sustains our momentum.