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United States, Mongolia Sign Transparency Agreement

New York, New York – United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Mongolia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Luvsanvandan Bold, today signed an Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment between the United States of America and Mongolia at a ceremony in New York. 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.

“This agreement represents an important milestone in the U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship. I know that Minister Bold shares my belief that an agreement setting forth mutual commitments on transparency will help to improve and deepen that relationship, to the benefit of both of our economies and our businesses and workers,” Ambassador Froman commented. “Transparency is critical to the proper and efficient functioning of the international trading system. Producers, suppliers, exporters and investors need the 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 Minister Bold reiterated the importance of U.S.-Mongolia trade and economic relations and their mutual desire 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 throughout the negotiations leading up to the signing of the agreement.

BACKGROUND

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.

Today’s 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 has seen impressive growth over the past few years. U.S. exports to Mongolia grew from $116 million in 2010 to more than $665 million in 2012, driven in large part by U.S. supplies and services to develop Mongolia’s expanding mining sector. U.S. imports from Mongolia increased from $12 million in 2010 to $42 million in 2012.

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 U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement Confirmation Letter can be seen here.