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US Congressman Urges Steps for Georgia-US Free Trade Deal

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 2
Chairman of the House Georgia Caucus, United States Congressman Ted Poe has sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging to consider the conclusion of free trade agreement between the United States and Georgia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry states.

“As a strong supporter of our bilateral relationship with the Republic of Georgia, I write you to urge consideration of free trade agreement with our Georgian allies,” Poe Says in the letter.

Poe claims that Georgia is a critical strategic partner for the US that has made remarkable progress over the past two decades in enacting political and economic reforms.

He says that in close cooperation with the United States, Georgia plays a key role in ensuring stability in the Caucasus region and supporting American security interests around the world.

“Lowering trade barriers between our two nations would go a long way towards further strengthen our partnership.”

Poe argues, the United States and Georgia have already established the foundation of a growing relationship between American and Georgian companies, workers, and consumers to meet its full potential.

In the letter Poe spoke about the importance of Georgia’s strategic location, granting access to landlocked Central Asian countries, with a combined market size of 120 million people and a combined economy of $300 billion.

“In 2014, Georgia achieved an Association Agreement with the EU, which enabled a new Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the European Union and Georgia. As a result, Georgia recently implemented several important economic reforms, including improvements to tax and regulatory regimes to improve its investment-friendly environment. U.S. business and workers must also be able to take advantage of the improving commercial climate in Georgia through our own bilateral free trade agreement.

“The benefits of deeper economic integration between our nations are immeasurable because they will provide dividends beyond the free flow of goods, services, and investment. With increased trade comes stability and security that both countries can enjoy. Given the economic and geostrategic importance of the American-Georgian relationship, I strongly encourage you to launch negotiations of a bilateral trade agreement,” Poe says.

The Georgian government says that the free trade deal with the US will benefit both Georgia and the United States.