Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th St., NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Fax: (202) 775-5648
E-mail: [email protected]

October 5, 2004
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


-- Responses to 2004 Candidate Questionnaires
Reveal Strong Support for PNTR for Armenia

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressional candidates from around the nation
strongly support legislation aimed at expanding U.S.-Armenia trade
relations, according to responses to multi-issue candidate
questionnaires circulated this election season by the Armenian
National Committee of America (ANCA).

Challengers and incumbents from both parties have stressed their
support for legislation that would grant Armenia Permanent Normal
Trade Relations (PNTR) status. This measure, which is being
spearheaded in the Senate by Senator Mitch McConnell and in the
House by Congressman Joe Knollenberg, may win final approval before
the Congress goes out of session this year.

"Armenian Americans have been tremendously encouraged by the
growing support for PNTR legislation for Armenia and remain hopeful
that it will be enacted prior to the end of the Congressional
session," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.

A sample of response on U.S.-Armenia trade is provided below to
offer a sense of the strong bipartisan support for this issue:

* Illinois Congressman John Shimkus, representing the southern
part of the State, noted in his response to the ANCA Candidate
Questionnaire: "I support extending permanent normal trade
relations between the United States and Armenia as a means of
strengthening the bonds and the commitment between our nations."

* Congressman Eric Cantor, the Chief Deputy Majority Whip and a
long-time friend of the Richmond Armenian community, explained
that: "The ascension of Armenia to the World Trade Organization
will begin to stabilize trade relations with the United States. It
is a step in the right direction because free trade with Armenia
will have a positive effect on not only the economy of that country
but that of the United States as well. All free trade promotes job
creation and economic growth throughout the world; by helping
Armenia we are helping the American economy prosper."

* First-term Congressman from Michigan, Thaddeus McCotter, who has
already emerged as a leading member of the Armenian Caucus, stated
that: "Our two great nations will only grow stronger by trading
together. I signed a letter supporting Armenian PNTR in the House
and will continue to work to see it signed into law."

* Candidate Robert Neeld, from the Gulf Coast of Florida, is
seeking to fill the seat vacated by new Director of Central
Intelligence Porter Goss, wrote that: "Favorable trading agreements
benefit both countries and would continue to stimulate Armenia's

The ANCA Congressional Candidate Questionnaire includes nine
different questions on the topics of the Armenian Genocide; U.S.
support for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh; U.S.-Armenia economic
relations; Self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh; Conditions on
U.S. aid to Azerbaijan; the Turkish blockade of Armenia, and; the
U.S. subsidy of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline bypass of Armenia.

"As in past years, we are pleased that candidates for Congress have
taken such full advantage of our questionnaires to speak directly
to Armenian American voters on issues of special concern to our
community," noted Hamparian.

For an Adobe PDF version of the ANCA Questionnaire, visit:

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress