Proposed Biden trade action threatens over 700 manufacturing jobs in Armenia

Department of Commerce set to Block Armenia’s Aluminum Foil Exports to the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Commerce is set to undertake a punitive trade action against Armenal, Armenia’s sole producer and exporter of aluminum foil, a counter-productive proposal strongly opposed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The ANCA supports a balanced “suspension agreement” that would put in place a managed bilateral trade regime to resolve outstanding issues in a mutually beneficial manner that protects domestic US interests while avoiding devastating impacts on Armenia’s economy.

Armenal is a major taxpayer that contributes meaningfully to Armenia’s budget, directly employs over 700 skilled workers in the Arabkir region and indirectly supports the livelihoods of thousands of families across Armenia. Armenal’s aluminum foil exports have, in recent years, accounted for as much as three-quarters of Armenia’s total exports to the United States, but represent only a small fraction of total US imports, and an even smaller share of the total US market.

“Now, more than ever, the Biden administration needs to be proactively supporting Armenia’s sovereignty and Artsakh’s security – amicably resolving trade issues and energetically boosting US-Armenia economic ties – certainly not targeting Armenian workers with punitive trade actions,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “A ‘suspension agreement’ will be a win-win, providing all stakeholders with the time and space to address this matter in a cooperative manner.”

The punitive trade action, currently being considered by the Commerce Department, comes amid Armenia’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the economic and refugee crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh last fall, and Baku’s ongoing aggression against Armenia.

The Department of Commerce’s preliminary determination regarding Armenal is available in the US Federal Register.

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ANCA

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues. To learn more, visit www.anca.org.

2 Comments

  1. Could you please report on the originating circumstances and conditions behind the sanctions? Why are there punitive sanctions? To whom is Armenal exporting aluminum? What is the story behind this announcement that is missing important detail?

    • Armenia is exporting aluminium foil to us, the sanctions are not punitive in nature as this article claims. The reason for the sanctions is due to lower wages in Armenia driving costs lower than what American manufacturers can achieve, effectively making it impossible for US based manufacturers to compete, these kind of sanctions are called anti-dumping laws, designed to protect the local manufacturers from aggressively low priced imports.

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