SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 111--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD EXPAND TRADE OPPORTUNITIES WITH MONGOLIA AND INITIATE NEGOTIATIONS TO ENTER INTO A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH MONGOLIA -- (Senate - July 20, 2006)
Mr. HAGEL (for himself, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Obama, Ms. Murkowski, and Mr. Gregg) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Finance:
S. Con. Res. 111
Whereas Mongolia declared an end to a one-party Communist state in 1990 and embarked on democratic and free-market reforms;
Whereas these reforms included adopting democratic electoral processes, enacting further political reform measures, privatizing state enterprises, lifting price controls, and improving fiscal discipline;
Whereas since 1990, Mongolia has made progress to strengthen democratic governing institutions and protect individual rights;
Whereas the Department of State found in its 2005 Human Rights Report that Mongolia generally respected the human rights of its citizens although concerns remain, including the treatment of prisoners, freedom of the press and information, due process, and trafficking in persons;
Whereas the Department of State found in its 2005 Religious Freedom Report that Mongolia generally respects freedom of religion, although some concerns remain;
Whereas Mongolia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1997, and a member of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank since 1991;
Whereas in 1999 the United States provided permanent normal trade relations treatment to the products of Mongolia;
Whereas the United States and Mongolia signed a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2004;
Whereas Mongolia has expressed steadfast commitment to greater economic reforms, including a commitment to encourage and expand the role of the private sector, increase transparency, strengthen the rule of law, combat corruption, and comply with international standards for labor and intellectual property rights protection;
Whereas bilateral trade between the United States and Mongolia in 2005 was valued at more than $165,000,000;
Whereas Mongolia has provided strong and consistent support to the United States in the global war on terror, including support for United States military forces and, since May 2003, contributed peace keepers to Operation Iraqi Freedom, artillery trainers to Operation Enduring Freedom, and personnel to the United Nations peace-keeping operations in Kosovo and Sierra Leone;
Whereas on August 6, 2002, the President signed into law H.R. 3009 (Public Law 107-210), the Trade Act of 2002, which provides for an expedited procedure for congressional consideration of international trade agreements;
Whereas on July 15, 2004, President Bush and President Bagabandi issued a joint statement that declared a new era of cooperation and comprehensive partnership between the two democratic countries based on shared values and common strategic interests;
Whereas in November 2005, President George W. Bush became the first President of the United States to visit Mongolia, and on November 21, 2005, President Bush and President Enkhbayar issued a joint statement declaring that the two countries are committed to defining guiding principles and expanding the framework of the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Mongolia; and
Whereas the United States and Mongolia would benefit from expanding and diversifying trade opportunities by reducing tariff and nontariff barriers to trade: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should continue to work with Mongolia to expand bilateral United States-Mongolia trade opportunities and initiate negotiations to enter into a free trade agreement with Mongolia.
Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, on behalf of my colleagues Senators LUGAR, OBAMA, MURKOWSKI and GREGG, I rise to submit a resolution that expresses the sense of the Senate that the United States should begin negotiations to establish a free trade agreement with Mongolia.
The United States and Mongolia enjoy healthy and deepening relations since the end of one-party Communist rule in Mongolia in 1990. Today, Mongolia is a strong and consistent partner of America, and has demonstrated its commitment to peace, democracy and international stability, notably by its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. America's relationship with Mongolia carries geostrategic importance.
Mongolia has made significant progress to strengthen its democratic governing institutions, to protect individuals rights and achieve free-market reforms. Its governments have adopted reforms that have enacted democratic electoral processes and the rule of law, privatized state enterprises, lifted price controls and improved fiscal discipline. Mongolia has achieved remarkable progress and continues to express its commitment to continued democratic and economic transition.
Mongolia has worked over the past years to become re-integrated in the international economic framework. In 1991, Mongolia joined the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In 1997, Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization. In 1999, the United States provided permanent normal trade relations to Mongolia. And, in 2004, the United States and Mongolia signed a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. In 2005, bilateral trade was valued at more than $165 million.
This resolution recognizes the significance of the U.S.-Mongolia relationship and emphasizes that a deeper and more lasting bilateral economic and trading relationship is in the interest of both countries. I urge my colleagues to support the adoption of this resolution.