WASHINGTON, DC – At a ceremony in Washington today, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Mongolia's Ambassador to the United States, Bulgaa Altangerel, signed and exchanged letters certifying that the United States and Mongolia have completed their respective applicable legal requirements and procedures for the Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment between the United States of America and Mongolia to enter into force and agreed that the transparency agreement would enter into force in 60 days.
The U.S.-Mongolia transparency agreement applies to matters relating to international trade and investment and includes joint commitments to provide opportunities for public comment on proposed laws and regulations and to publish final laws and regulations. This publication commitment includes the obligation to publish final laws and regulations in English, which should make it easier for U.S. and other foreign enterprises to do business in, and invest in, Mongolia. The transparency agreement also commits the two parties to ensure that administrative agencies apply fair, impartial and reasonable procedures and that persons affected by the decisions of administrative agencies have a right to appeal those decisions. Additional commitments address the application of disciplines on bribery and corruption.
“The U.S.-Mongolia transparency agreement will help to improve and deepen the U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship to the benefit of both of our economies and our workers and businesses,” Ambassador Froman commented. “Transparency is critical to the proper and efficient functioning of international trade and investment, and the implementation of this agreement will help provide producers, suppliers, exporters and investors with the needed predictability that comes with a clear understanding of the policies and practices that are going to be applied.”
During the signing ceremony, Ambassador Froman and Ambassador Altangerel reiterated the importance of U.S.-Mongolia trade and economic relations and their mutual desire to continue to promote trade cooperation through the U.S.-Mongolia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Ambassador Froman also offered his appreciation to officials from the U.S. Department of State for their key support leading up to the signing and exchange of letters.
The United States and Mongolia signed their transparency agreement on September 24, 2013.
The United States has entered into TIFAs with a number of countries in order to enhance trade ties and coordinate regionally and multilaterally through regular senior-level discussions on trade and economic issues. Regular, ongoing dialogues established through TIFAs with other countries and regions have led to concrete, positive results, resolved trade differences, and led to a deepening of trade and economic relationships.
The United States and Mongolia signed their TIFA on July 15, 2004. The TIFA created a United States-Mongolia Council on Trade and Investment that considers a wide range of issues that include, but are not limited to, intellectual property rights, labor, environmental matters, non-tariff barriers, investment and transparency. Through the Council, the two countries have established an ongoing dialogue to help remove impediments to trade between the United States and Mongolia.
The transparency agreement with Mongolia represents the first time that the United States has concluded a stand-alone agreement addressing transparency in matters related to international trade and investment. Previously, the United States had only negotiated transparency commitments as part of broader agreements. Negotiating a stand-alone agreement with Mongolia offered an opportunity to build concretely on cooperation between the United States and Mongolia under their TIFA.
The U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship saw impressive growth up until 2012, when U.S. exports of goods to Mongolia reached more than $665 million, driven in large part by U.S. efforts to help develop Mongolia’s expanding mining sector. U.S. imports of goods from Mongolia also reached a peak in 2012 at $42 million. Since then, imports and exports have both declined, largely because of a downturn in Mongolia’s economy.
Mongolia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since January 29, 1997.
A copy of the U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement is available here.
The letters signed and exchanged today can be seen here.
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