U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
16 May, 2020
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia. They also express concern over Georgia's ties to US enemies, which they say are "at the expense of US geopolitical and business interests." In this context, American politicians draw attention to the issue of "Frontera" and note that the company, which has invested
$ 500 million in the country, is threatened with expulsion from Georgia. The same goes for Conte Group, which was "expelled from the Anaklia Port Consortium."

In the letter, they wrote: "We write to express our concern about deteriorating good governance and potential illicit financial activities in Georgia. [...] Over the last year, foreign direct investment into Georgia decreased by nearly 50%-while taxes and bureaucratic barriers have increased for Western businesses. [...] As the legitimate business has been pushed out, illicit trade has taken its place. Georgian businesses and the Georgian financial system have for years been notorious among U.S. sanctions officials as vehicles for circumventing American sanctions on Iran.

“The current government of Georgia led by the Georgian Dream party is implicated in efforts to crowd out legitimate American businesses, which have invested in Georgia's economy and future.
Any such activities are motivated by geopolitical considerations, including reported ties between Bidzina Ivanishvili, chairman of the Georgian Dream party, and the Russian government.
Activities related to Black Sea ports in Georgia endanger critical American national security interests, including the deliberate exclusion of American companies from port construction aimed at insulating Georgia from reliance on Russia; Deficiencies in enforcing American sanctions against Iran, especially and specifically in the context of port activities”, reads the letter.

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