U.S., Mongolia sign trade transparency agreement
The United States and Mongolia on Tuesday signed an agreement to improve transparency on mutual issues concerning trade and investment at a ceremony in New York.
The U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement 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 Mongolia.
The agreement also commits the two countries 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.
“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,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in a statement.
The United States and Mongolia signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement on July 15, 2004. TIFA created a U.S.-Mongolia Council on Trade and Investment that considers a range of issues such as intellectual property rights, labor, environmental matters, non-tariff barriers, investment and transparency.
Previously, the United States had only negotiated transparency commitments as part of broader agreements. Negotiating a stand-alone agreement with Mongolia offers "an opportunity to build concretely on cooperation between the United States and Mongolia under their TIFA," the Office of the U.. Trade Representative said.
U.S.-Mongolia trade has seen strong growth during 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, according to USTR.
Mongolia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since Jan. 29, 1997.
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