Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian asked newly sworn-in Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew this week to revisit the Obama Administration’s past reluctance to negotiate a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty aimed at facilitating increased bilateral trade and investment.
In a March 27 letter, Hachikian restated the ANCA’s longstanding view that the 1973 U.S.-U.S.S.R. Tax Treaty is clearly insufficient to the needs of the present-day U.S. economic relationship with Armenia, and reaffirmed the organization’s position that a new treaty would substantially ease potential burdens upon potential investors. “The present situation’s lack of clarity, resulting, as it does, in uncertainty, potential costs, and new risks, represents a substantial deterrent for potential U.S. investors,” explained Hachikian. “Without an updated Tax Treaty, U.S. businesses will continue to face significant burdens on investment and cross-border services and payments, as well as a lack of transparent information exchange and obstacles to cooperation on tax and related matters.”
Parallel to efforts with the Department of Treasury in support of a Double Tax Treaty, the ANCA is also working to encourage pro-active U.S. leadership across a broad array of economy-related platforms, including the U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force, and a potential Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), Social Security Agreement, future trade missions, and business visa relaxation.
Last month, representatives of the Department of State, the Armenian Embassy, and the Armenian American community shared views and explored practical paths toward expanded U.S.-Armenia bilateral trade and investment at a roundtable talk hosted by the ANCA. The town-hall format meeting, held in the Aramian Conference Room of the ANCA’s Washington headquarters, included participation by State Department Director of the Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts Justin Friedman, ANCA Trade and Investment Policy Specialist Nora Khanarian, Ph.D., Embassy of the Republic of Armenia Counselor Andranik Hovhannisyan, Ph.D., and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian