DUSHANBE, February 14, 2013, Asia-Plus — Tajik Ambassador to the United States, Nouriddin Shamsov, has called on Washington to remove Tajikistan from Jackson-Vanik restrictions.
According to Silk Road Newsline, Ambassador Shamsov has noted that Tajik economy shows steady progress, the country will officially join the WTO on March 2, 20012 and it’s time for the United States to graduate Tajikistan from the restrictive Jackson-Vanik amendment.
“My government anticipates continuing effective bilateral cooperation with U.S. Government to lift as soon as possible the Jackson-Vanik amendment which would impede as we do believe full fledged membership of Tajikistan in the WTO and further promotion of bilateral trade and investment relations with the Unites States of America,” Shamsov told a panel on the WTO at the at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) in Washington on February 13.
The Jackson-Vanik amendment was the handiwork of Senator Henry Jackson from Washington state and Ohio Congressman Charles Vanik. Added to the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, this amendment penalized Soviet block nonmarket-economy countries that restricted emigration by denying them most-favored-nation (MFN) status. A relic of the Cold War and at odds with WTO rules, the Jackson-Vanik amendment is still applicable to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well to a number of other former Soviet states. Kyrgyzstan was graduated from the amendment in 2000, two years after it joined the WTO.
According to Shamsov, “On January 31 this year Tajikistan informed the World Trade Organization that it had fully ratified its accession package and now according to the World Trade Organization procedure, Tajikistan will become the 159th full fledged member of this organization beginning from the March 2, 2013.”
“Tajikistan has gone through a long and complicated process to access the membership of WTO. There is no doubt that without practical support and understanding of our partners it would be impossible for Tajikistan to carry this difficult task. That’s why our special appreciation and gratitude go to the U.S. Government, in particular USTR and its staff who truly stood side by side with Tajikistan along this entire challenging pass,” Tajik ambassador said.