Joint Statement on the Visit of the United States Trade Representative to Kazakhstan

June 20, 2024

ASTANA – The United States and Kazakhstan held a meeting on Friday, June 14th between the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in addition to meetings between Ambassador Tai and Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliyev, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Svetlana Zhakupova, among others.

The United States and Kazakhstan reiterated their commitment to expanding and diversifying the bilateral trade relationship. To that end, both sides committed to increase cooperation in agriculture and make concrete progress in the near term to include additional U.S. meat and poultry production facilities, streamline the issuance of digital export certificates, and work to facilitate increased shipments of U.S. agricultural equipment to Kazakhstan. Ambassador Tai noted Kazakhstan’s interest in the termination of the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, the general support for the U.S. Congressional efforts to revitalize and renew the Generalize System of Preferences program, and recognized GSP’s role in Kazakhstan’s trade diversification.   

The United States and Kazakhstan committed to strengthen their work together on regional connectivity and enhancing the capacity of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route. They discussed the importance of enhancing bilateral engagement to promote diverse, secure, and resilient regional supply chains and emphasized the importance of ongoing cooperation on trade facilitation, including the harmonization and digitization of customs procedures. Ambassador Tai noted the role of U.S. companies in supplying high-quality products and expertise in the development of alternative trade routes. 

Ambassador Tai thanked Kazakhstan for its fruitful hosting of the 15th meeting of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council on June 13th. The Governments cited progress under the mechanism on a range of working group issues, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, customs, intellectual property, women’s economic empowerment, and digital trade. Ambassador Tai noted the importance of a transparent and consultative regulatory process in regional harmonization.  Kazakhstan and the United States emphasized their commitment to further the utilization of the TIFA mechanism to deepen U.S.-Central Asia trade and investment ties.

The Governments expressed a commitment to advancing women’s economic empowerment and commended the TIFA’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group as a platform for dialogue among public and private sector stakeholders.  Ambassador Tai also underscored the United States’ interest in closely engaging with Kazakhstan in support of internationally recognized labor rights, including advancing worker rights on freedom of association and collective bargaining. Kazakhstan has confirmed its intention to cooperate and exchange experience in the implementation of inclusive, supportive employment policies and practices that empower persons with disabilities in the economy.

The United States and Kazakhstan committed to continue working to identify specific trade outcomes that support the positive trajectory of the bilateral trade and investment relationship.