ANCA engages U.S. Treasury Secretary on U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, during a World Affairs Council event in Los Angeles this past Monday, had a constructive exchange with ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian about the mutual benefits of a U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty.

In response to Hamparian’s question, Secretary Mnuchin explained that the purpose of such accords would be to “make sure that there is no double tax for trade and investment.” He added, “we want to make sure other countries tax our companies fairly when they’re doing business there, and visa-versa.” During recent Congressional testimony, the Secretary committed to devoting Treasury Department resources to pursuing a Tax Treaty with the Republic of Armenia.

“I am pleased that ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian and I had a chance to share the advantages of a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty with Secretary Mnuchin,” remarked ANCA National Board member Aida Dimejian. “It is crystal clear that Secretary Mnuchin understands the benefits of treating companies fairly with respect to taxation – whether they are conducting business from the United States into Armenia or the other way around,” Dimejian added.

“The ANCA is eager to see concrete progress on a Double Tax Treaty coming out of the much-awaited meeting this March 19th in Washington, DC of the U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement council,” noted Dimejian.  “As soon as the terms have been agreed upon – very likely based upon the current U.S. model treaty – and a final accord signed, we look forward to engaging with members of the U.S. Senate, in particular those serving on the Foreign Relations Committee, who are charged, under our Constitution, with ratifying all American treaties.”

Earlier this month, Secretary Mnuchin testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and agreed – in response to direct questioning by Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) – to commit Treasury Department officials to pursue a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty, a long-overdue bilateral accord that will remove barriers to the growth of U.S.-Armenia economic relations.

Rep. Sherman was joined by Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) in collecting the Congressional signatures of their House colleagues on a letter to Secretary Mnuchin in support of the Tax Treaty. He referenced the legislators in his question to the Secretary, asking whether, in response to their calls to action, the Treasury Department would dedicate 28 hours (the number of Congressional signatures collected at that time) to negotiating this agreement. Secretary Mnuchin replied in the affirmative, noting: “Yes, I can commit the 28 hours.”

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