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This week, senior U.S. and Mongolian government representatives held a series of discussions that reaffirmed the mutual commitment to expanding trade and economic cooperation between the United States and Mongolia. On May 18, Ambassador Robert W. Holleyman II, Deputy United States Trade Representative, served as the U.S. side’s chair for the U.S.-Mongolia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting. On May 19, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kurt Tong of the U.S. State Department’s Economic Bureau led the U.S. delegation to the inaugural U.S.-Mongolia Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD).
The TIFA meeting was the first one held by the United States and Mongolia since the two sides began negotiating Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment in 2009. The United States welcomed the December 2014 ratification of the bilateral Transparency Agreement by Mongolia’s Parliament, and the two sides also explored various ways in which to advance trade and investment relations between the United States and Mongolia. This year’s TIFA meeting was chaired at the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative level for the first time. Ambassador Holleyman commented: “I was pleased to meet with my Mongolian counterparts for the 2015 TIFA. With work underway to implement the U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement, this was the right time to kick off a new round of engagement. Our Talks establish a new opportunity to build investor confidence and strengthen trade and investment ties between our two countries.”
The EPD is a strategic policy-level dialogue to exchange views on a broad range of bilateral, regional and global economic issues that reflect mutual interests. During the EPD, the U.S. and Mongolian delegations discussed regional economic integration, investment in infrastructure, and bilateral cooperation on energy, climate, and civil aviation. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Tong characterized the talks as useful to understand the main economic issues of the day and to advance American and Mongolian mutual strategic understanding.
For the Joint Statement from U.S.-Mongolia TIFA Talks, please click here.