YEREVAN (Realist English). The United States is considering the possibility of assigning Armenia the status of a country with a market economy. The relevant issue was discussed at the meeting of Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan with US Charge d’affaires Chip Leitinen.
“During the meeting, the issue of implementing the relevant process of granting the status of a country with a market economy to the Republic of Armenia by the United States was discussed. An agreement was reached to provide a report prepared by the Armenian side on obtaining the status of a market economy from the United States and to continue negotiations,” the Economy of Armenia telegram channel noted.
On November 11, Washington stripped Moscow of the status granted to it 20 years ago, which had allowed the Russian Federation to avoid anti-dumping duties on merchandise. The American side proceeds from the fact that the Russian state largely interferes with the work of the economy, and this affects the pricing and cost structure of Russian producers. As a result, the prices of Russian goods supplied to the United States may be unfair, the Department of Trade noted.
The status of a country with a market economy provides additional opportunities to protect its exports from anti-dumping duties on the territory of countries that recognize WTO rules. For Yerevan, this is the prospect of opening the trade door to the European Union a couple of centimeters wider. However, in real numbers, this does not make the weather change for Armenian exports, which are overwhelmingly tied to Russia and China.
Moreover, in the war of sanctions, Yerevan has become the most important trade portal for parallel imports into the Russian Federation. In the first half of 2022, the volume of supplies of Armenian goods to Russia increased by almost 50% compared to the same period last year. Armenia’s GDP grew by 14.8% in the third quarter. In total, the American list includes 12 countries with non-market economies: Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
On November 30, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold hearings on the candidacies of new American ambassadors to Armenia and Russia. In July, President Joseph Biden nominated Christina Queen, who will succeed Lynn Tracy, for this position. Tracy herself Biden offered the position of a new ambassador in Moscow.