‘National Interest’ Organization Supports a Georgian-US FTA

In 2008, Russia occupied Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, starting a ruthless, 5-day war in August. As of now, Russia occupies 20% of Georgia and continues to infringe Georgian territory through “creeping annexation.”

Although Russia’s destructive impact, Georgia has made remarkable progress over the past period. The management has sustained its campaign towards further integration with the West. it has made extraordinary progress in liberalizing the Georgian economy.

As a North Atlantic Treaty Organization candidate since 2008, Georgia has been particularly close with the European Union since 2014, when Tbilisi and Brussels signed the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.

Georgia has also upheld a solid partnership with the United States. It has contributed to the U.S. operation in Afghanistan for years and still has 870 soldiers positioned in the warzone. Furthermore, Georgia has experienced the highest casualty rate of all alliance partners in Afghanistan.

Georgians have done an outstanding job of releasing themselves from their Soviet past. After 1996, according to the Index of Economic Freedom reports, Georgia is the best-improving country on the record, jumping from 124 on the list, to 16th.

It is widely thought among Georgian voters, that there is no point in selecting a pro-Western party since the West allegedly never responds to Georgia’s advances. Entering a U.S.-Georgia FTA would demolish that assumption.

“Through its economic reforms and its heroic support of the West on the international stage, Georgia has proven itself worthy of being a free trade partner.” Writes the National Interest organization.   

A high-level trade negotiation occurred between the United States and Georgia. It was introduced in January 2012. The Georgian Embassy’s website portrays the dialogue as “a platform for deepening bilateral economic relations [that] has the potential to increase trade and investment between the two countries.”

Nonetheless, if the United States wishes to have a direct effect on furthering Georgia’s western integration, then Congress needs to quickly approve Kelly C. Degnan as U.S. ambassador to Georgia. For more than a year, the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi has had no ambassador, and the consequences of that have been felt among the Georgians. Georgia has established that it earns U.S. commitment and a stronger association. Georgia also displayed that it is capable and worthy of an FTA with the United States.

By Beka Alexishvili

Image source: Reuters 

11 October 2019 18:19