The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that senior U.S. and Mongolian government representatives held a series of discussions last week that reaffirmed their mutual commitment to expanding trade and economic cooperation. The talks included a May 18 meeting under the U.S.-Mongolia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and the inaugural U.S.-Mongolia Economic Policy Dialogue on May 19.
According to a USTR press release, Deputy USTR Robert Holleyman said “this was the right time to kick off a new round of engagement” given that work is now underway to implement a bilateral Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment, which the two sides began negotiating in 2009 and which the Mongolian Parliament ratified in December 2014.
At the TIFA meeting, the first held since 2008, discussions focused on increasing bilateral cooperation on issues such as legal and regulatory frameworks, investment opportunities, bidding procedures for government-sponsored projects, intellectual property rights, and mutual trade promotion. Specific outcomes included agreement on next steps for implementing the transparency agreement, trade promotion programs and trade missions, and technical information exchanges in the commercial law field. The next round of TIFA talks is planned to be held in Washington, D.C., in 2016.
During the meeting of the EPD, a strategic policy-level dialogue covering a broad range of bilateral, regional and global economic issues that reflect mutual interests, delegations discussed regional economic integration, investment in infrastructure, and bilateral cooperation on energy, climate and civil aviation.