WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), in a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, has requested that the U.S. enter into formal talks with Armenia regarding the negotiation of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Representative Frelinghuysen, who serves as a senior member of the influential Appropriations Committee, as well as on its powerful Defense subcommittee, wrote, in his October 22nd letter to Ambassador Kirk, that “working toward a TIFA between the U.S. and Armenia would be an important step in securing long-term economic ties and furthering our trade relationship.” He also stressed the benefits that expanding trade will have for his New Jersey constituents and all Americans.
In September of this year, Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) also called upon Ambassador Kirk to negotiate a U.S.-Armenia TIFA. In his letter, Representative Andrews noted that this agreement would “build upon our current economic dialogue with Armenia and establish a broader reach than the U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force.” He added that, a TIFA “would provide a more consistent platform for our government to meet and consult with Armenian government officials regarding economic cooperation and trade and investment opportunities.”
“We want to thank Congressman Frelinghuysen for his leadership in seeking to bring the benefits of trade to both the United States and Armenia,” said ANCA-New Jersey spokesperson James Sahagian.
“Armenian Americans from his Congressional District and across the Garden State join with him, and with Congressman Robert Andrews as well, in calling on the Administration to start negotiating a U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Agreement.”
During the last Congressional recess, the ANC of New Jersey met with both Congressman Andrews and Congressman Frelinghuysen to discuss ways to expand U.S. – Armenia trade. In making the case for a U.S.-Armenia TIFA, both members of Congress noted that Armenia has been granted Permanent Normal Trade Relations status and that it is a member in good standing of the World Trade Organization.
The ANCA has consistently called on Ambassador Kirk to move forward with a U.S.-Armenia TIFA, and has shared with the Administration and Members of Congress information regarding the economic and foreign policy benefits that the negotiation of such an accord would provide to both the U.S. and Armenia.