Results of Visit of the U.S. Trade Representative to Kazakhstan

By Vagit Ismailov

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliev, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Svetlana Zhakupova, and other officials met with U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tye. The United States and Kazakhstan reaffirmed their commitment to expanding and diversifying bilateral trade relations. Both sides pledged to deepen cooperation in agriculture and make progress in the near term. This includes increasing U.S. meat and poultry production capacity, optimizing the issuance of digital export certificates, and facilitating increased shipments of U.S. agricultural equipment to Kazakhstan.

Tye noted Kazakhstan’s interest in repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment and expressed support for the U.S. Congress’ efforts to update the Generalized System of Preferences program. She also recognized the program’s importance in diversifying Kazakhstan’s trade. The U.S. and Kazakhstan pledged to strengthen joint work on regional connectivity and increase the capacity of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route. The parties discussed increasing bilateral engagement to create diverse, secure, and sustainable supply chains. They stressed the importance of continuous cooperation in trade facilitation, including the harmonization and digitization of customs processes.

Tye noted the contribution of U.S. companies’ supply of high-quality products and the development of alternative trade routes. She also thanked Kazakhstan for the success of the 15th meeting of the Board of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The working groups noted progress on several issues, including sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, customs procedures, intellectual property protection, women’s economic empowerment, and digital trade. Tye further emphasized the importance of a transparent and consultative regulatory process in regional harmonization.

Kazakhstan and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to utilize the TIFA mechanism further to deepen trade and investment ties between the U.S. and Central Asia. The U.S. also expressed interest in working closely with Kazakhstan to support internationally recognized labor rights, including promoting workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The United States and Kazakhstan pledged to continue working to achieve concrete trade results, maintaining the positive momentum of the bilateral trade and investment relationship.