Resolution in Support of Deepening U.S-Georgia Trade Relations
This resolution encourages the United States to strengthen and deepen its trade and economic relations with the Republic of Georgia including but not limited to initiating negotiations on a US-Georgia Free Trade Agreement.
Whereas, the United States and Georgia signed the Charter on Strategic Partnership in January 2009; and
Whereas, Georgia has been developing its democratic and free market institutions for over a decade; and
Whereas, Georgia’s achievements have been duly appreciated by relevant international agencies and institutions; and
Whereas, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index shows considerable positive movement for Georgia to a ranking of 66 in to 2009 from one of 133 in 2004; and
Whereas, the World Bank ranked Georgia 11 out of 183 in its Ease of Doing Business Index giving Georgia the highest ranking of all Central and Eastern European Countries; and
Whereas, Georgian municipal elections on May 30, 2010 marked an important milestone in the process of democratic transformation of Georgia and were described by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) observer mission as “transparent” and demonstrated “evident progress towards meeting international standards”; and
Whereas, Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and the subsequent worldwide economic crisis negatively affected Georgia’s economy; and
Whereas, Georgia’s positive economic reforms, including the privatization of state enterprises and the institution of a flat tax, have encouraged strong economic growth and foreign direct investment; and
Whereas, a significant segment of Georgian territory remains under Russian occupation in violation of international law and the 2008 ceasefire agreement between Georgia and Russia which was mediated by French (and then EU) President Nicolas Sarkozy; and
Whereas, the U.S. firmly supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as evidenced by a statement made by the White House on June 24, 2010 calling on Russia “to end its occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia”; and
Whereas, Georgia contributes to Euro-Atlantic peace and security and participates in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan; and
Whereas, NATO agreed in the Bucharest Summit Declaration of April 2008 that Georgia will become a member of NATO; and
Whereas, strengthening U.S.-Georgia relations are in the best interest of the U.S. in terms of support of democratic developments in the region and regional security stabilization in Eastern European and Central Asian nations; and
Whereas, strong economic growth and investment would provide the optimal environment for Georgia to further strengthen its democratic institutions; and
Whereas, closer U.S. engagement with Georgia through trade negotiations would encourage even greater reform in Georgia and build its capacity to further modernize and liberalize its economy;
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the commonwealth/state of [INSERTSTATE] calls on the Administration to further deepen the economic and trade relations with the country of Georgia and to start negotiations to enter into a free trade agreement with Georgia.
Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on September 19, 2010.