Prishtina, March 5, 2020 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo voices its concern over the recent discourse regarding the tariffs that the Republic of Kosovo has imposed on two Western Balkan states. The tariff barriers that countries in this region impose on each other hinder the free movement of goods and people, and delay the progress in their Euro-Atlantic path. In this regard, the unconditional lifting of the tariff decision in accordance with the call of President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and other senior U.S. administration officials, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo is of imperative importance, and a genuine evidence of a commitment for exceptional relations with the United States of America.
American Chamber would like to remind the institutions of Republic of Kosovo and other political and social stakeholders that the United States of America have played, and continue to play a key role for the freedom, independence and strengthening of the state of Kosovo, through continuous investments for a stronger economy, justice, democratic institutions, as well as defense and security.
A number of U.S. companies contribute actively to the economic development of the country in sectors such as construction and real-estate, energy, healthcare and information technology. On the other hand, the Government of United States of America provides Kosovo direct support through its Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), whereas Kosovo manufacturers can export over 3,500 products without any customs duties in USA through Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). United Stated of America are the largest contributors in KFOR forces, thus guaranteeing a safe environment and freedom for Kosovo citizens, which is ultimately an indicator of stability and security for foreign investors. On the other hand, the National Guard of Iowa continues its support for Kosovo Security Force under the long-term partnership, thus enabling Kosovo to contribute to the regional security and cooperation.
Finally, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo reiterates its support for the U.S. brokered agreements between Kosovo and Serbia authorities for institution of air and railway connections, as well as investments in road infrastructure, thus voicing its strong belief that the lifting of the tariffs will pave the way for a final peace agreement which would result in mutual recognition, unhindered trade and stronger economic ties, which would ultimately improve the perception of both countries in the eyes of foreign investors.