TRADE AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the United States of America (individually a "Party" and collectively the "Parties"):
Desiring to enhance the bonds of friendship and spirit of cooperation, to expand trade, and to strengthen economic relations between the Parties;
Recognizing the importance of fostering an open and predictable environment for international trade and investment;
Recognizing the benefits the Parties can derive from increased international trade and investment, and that trade-distorting investment measures and protectionist trade barriers can reduce these benefits;
Seeking to promote transparency and to eliminate bribery and corruption in international trade and investment;
Recognizing the essential role of private investment, both domestic and foreign, in furthering growth, creating jobs, expanding trade, improving technology, and enhancing economic development;
Recognizing the increased importance of trade in services between their economies;
Taking into account the desirability of reducing non-tariff trade barriers in order to facilitate increased trade among the Parties;
Recognizing the importance of providing adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and of membership in and adherence to intellectual property rights conventions;
Recognizing the importance of respecting, promoting and realizing in each Party's laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as enumerated in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-Up (1998); and of ensuring the effective enforcement by the Parties of their respective labor laws;
Recognizing the importance of protecting and preserving the environment in accordance with each Party's environmental laws, and of ensuring the effective enforcement by the Parties of their respective environmental laws; and desiring to ensure that trade and environmental policies are mutually supportive in the furtherance of sustainable development;
Recognizing that enhancing opportunities for women, including women workers, entrepreneurs, and business-owners, to participate in the domestic and global economy contributes to economic development, and the importance of ensuring that women do not face gender-specific impediments to participating in the domestic and global economy;
Desiring to encourage and facilitate contacts between enterprises and other private sector groups in each other's territories;
Acknowledging the desirability of resolving trade and investment problems between them as expeditiously as possible;
Desiring to reinforce the multilateral trading system by entering into further reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements under the auspices of the World Trade Organization ("WTO");
Noting that the Parties are Members of the WTO and affirming that this Agreement is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of these Parties under the agreements, understandings, and other instruments related to or concluded under the auspices of the WTO;
Noting the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Republic of Armenia Concerning the Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of Investment, signed on September 23,1992, between the Parties and affirming that this Agreement is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Treaty;
Seeking to create a mechanism for further dialogue on initiatives for expanding their trade through enhanced cooperation and more comprehensive agreements,
HAVE AGREED as follows:
The Parties affirm their desire to promote an attractive investment climate and to expand and diversify trade in products and services between the Parties.
1. The Parties hereby establish a Armenia-United States Council on Trade and Investment ("Council"), comprising representatives of each Party. The Armenian side shall be chaired by the Ministry of Economy; and the United States' side shall be chaired by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative ("USTR"). Both Parties may be assisted by officials of their governments as circumstances require.
2. The Council shall meet at such times, in such places, and through such means as the Parties may agree. The Parties shall endeavor to meet no less than once a year.
The Council shall:
1. monitor trade and investment relations between the Parties, identify opportunities for expanding trade and investment, and identify relevant issues, such as those related to strengthening the rule of law and promoting transparent and corruption-free public institutions, and the protection of intellectual property rights, worker rights, and the environment, that may be appropriate for negotiation in an appropriate forum;
2. consider specific trade and investment matters of interest to the Parties;
3. identify and work to remove impediments to trade and investment between the Parties; and
4. seek the advice of the private sector and civil society, where appropriate, on matters related to the Council's work.
A Party may refer a specific trade or investment matter to the Council by delivering a written request to the other Party that includes a description of the matter concerned. The Council shall take up the matter promptly after the request is delivered unless the requesting Party agrees to postpone discussion of the matter. Each Party shall endeavor to provide an opportunity for the Council to consider a matter before taking actions that could adversely affect trade or investment interests of the other Party.
This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the law of either Party or to the rights and obligations of either Party under any other agreement.
The Parties may amend the Agreement by mutual agreement in writing. Any such amendment shall enter into force on the date that the Parties notify each other that they have completed any internal procedures necessary for entry into force of the amendment. If the Parties provide such notification to each other on different dates, the amendment shall enter into force on the date of receipt of the latter notification.
This Agreement shall enter into force on the date that the Parties notify each other that they have completed any internal procedures necessary for entry into force of this Agreement. If the Parties provide such notification to each other on different dates, the Agreement shall enter into force on the date of receipt of the latter notification.
Any Party may terminate this Agreement by providing written notice of termination to the other Party. The termination shall take effect on a date the Parties agree or, if the Parties cannot agree, 180 days after the date of the written notice of termination.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized, have signed this Agreement.
DONE in the English language, in duplicate as an authentic text, at Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2015. An Armenian language version of the Agreement shall be prepared which shall be considered an equally authentic text of the Agreement upon an exchange of letters between the Parties establishing the conformity of the Armenian language version with the signed English text of the Agreement.
The Agreement has entered into force on 13 November 2015.