[House Document 112-34]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



112th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 112-34

 
REPORT TO THE CONGRESS CONCERNING THE EXTENSION OF WAIVER AUTHORITY FOR 
                              TURKMENISTAN

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, THE DEPARTMENT 
                                OF STATE

                              transmitting

A REPORT CONCERNING THE EXTENSION OF WAIVER AUTHORITY FOR TURKMENISTAN, 
           PURSUANT TO PUB. L. 93-618, SEC. 402(d)(1) AND 409




June 13, 2011.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, DC, May 17, 2011.
Hon. John A. Boehner,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to subsection 402(d)(1) and 409 
of the Trade Act of 1974 (Jackson-Vanik Amendment), P.L. 93-
618, the President's Delegation of Authority E.O. 13346 (July 
8, 2004), and Delegation of Authority No. 245-1 (February 13, 
2009), the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and 
Resources has exercised the waiver authority provided by the 
Act on behalf of the Secretary of State and has issued the 
required determination.
    A copy of the Deputy Secretary's Determination and the 
accompanying Report to Congress concerning the extension of 
waiver authority for Turkmenistan are enclosed.
    We hope you find this information useful. Please do not 
hesitate to contact us if we may be of assistance on this or 
any other issue.
            Sincerely,
                                Joseph E. Macmanus,
                                Acting Assistant Secretary,
                                               Legislative Affairs.
    Enclosures: As stated.
Report to the Congress Concerning the Extension of Waiver Authority for 
                              Turkmenistan

    This report is submitted pursuant to subsection 402(d)(1) 
of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (``the Act'').

                  FREEDOM OF EMIGRATION DETERMINATION

    Turkmenistan was found compliant with Jackson-Vanik every 
year until 2003, when in response to an armed attack on former 
President Niyazov's motorcade in November 2002, the government 
tightened control over movement outside of the country by 
imposing an exit visa requirement, which included restrictions 
on emigration. The government officially removed the exit visa 
regime in January 2004, restoring some freedom of movement, 
including freedom of emigration.
    While the exit visa regime was officially lifted, the 
government has continued to impede travel out of the country, 
including emigration for selected individuals, particularly 
those suspected of opposing or being disloyal to the government 
and their family members. Some family members of officials 
imprisoned in 2002 who have wanted to emigrate to join 
relatives abroad have not been allowed to do so. People subject 
to a travel ban who have tried to leave the country have been 
turned away at the airport, visited by security services and 
told not to try to leave, or had their passports confiscated.
    Further, in December 2005, the Government of Turkmenistan 
passed a law on migration that was used to limit the ability of 
Turkmen, especially those who had run afoul of Niyazov's 
regime, to leave the country. The law contains several 
restrictions on travel abroad. According to Article 32 of the 
law, those with access to state secrets, those considered a 
risk of becoming victim of trafficking, and those whose 
departure threatens Turkmenistan's national security can be 
prevented from traveling.
    In recent years, there are indications of an easing of the 
emigration restrictions. Since the death in December 2006 of 
President Niyazov, the Government of Turkmenistan has expressed 
a commitment to righting the abuses of the past and has 
undertaken a review of cases of those who were denied 
permission to leave the country freely for apparent political 
reasons. At least four citizens who were previously barred from 
leaving the country have been allowed to depart. Nonetheless, 
many such restrictions remain in effect.
    Migration statistics indicate that emigration is possible 
for most Turkmen citizens. An international organization that 
follows migration issues reports that at least 234 Turkmen 
citizens who acquired refugee status in other countries were 
able to leave the country between 2004 and 2009. An additional 
17 citizens left between January and April 2010. Citizens of 
Turkmenistan have emigrated to Turkey, Israel, the United Arab 
Emirates, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, the 
United States, and Uzbekistan. Official statistics, however, 
are difficult to obtain. An unofficial source reported that in 
2008 the Government of Turkmenistan permitted the migration of 
34 Jewish citizens and allowed 53 Jewish citizens to emigrate 
to Israel in 2009.
    However, there continue to be numerous accounts of 
individuals barred from leaving the country. In fall 2009, 
students who planned to study at the American University in 
Central Asia were not allowed to depart to Bishkek and were 
temporarily banned from foreign travel. In April 2011, a group 
of health professionals who were supposed to take part in a 
U.S. government-sponsored exchange program in the United States 
were stopped at the airport by State Migration Service 
officials and denied exit. Those seven people were then placed 
on a list of persons banned from leaving the country. 
Government policy requires personnel offices of government 
agencies to hold the passports of all government employees. 
Government employees must first obtain permission to travel 
abroad in order to retrieve their passports.
    For Turkmen citizens possessing a second citizenship, exit 
from Turkmenistan can be problematic. The Turkmen Constitution 
does not permit dual citizenship, and there have been occasions 
when State Migration Service officials refused to allow dual 
citizens to exit the country, despite possession of a valid 
travel document showing the person's other citizenship. The 
State Migration Service has not provided clear instructions on 
how dual citizens can leave the country, nor a clear procedure 
for a person to renounce Turkmen citizenship.
    The Jackson-Vanik waiver has been an important tool for the 
United States to encourage the Government of Turkmenistan to 
ease its emigration restrictions, in combination with ongoing 
engagement involving instances such as the travel ban against 
students at the American University in Central Asia. The 
Government of Turkmenistan seeks to avoid criticism from the 
international community on issues such as respect for freedom 
of movement. Avoiding such criticism, which would be explicit 
if Jackson-Vanik sanctions were imposed, is a strong incentive 
for the Government of Turkmenistan to continue to ease such 
restrictions. Renewing the waiver at this time will provide 
better conditions for bilateral dialogue on freedom of 
emigration and movement and will substantially promote the 
objectives of Section 402 of the Jackson-Vanik Act.
 Determination Under Subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, As 
               Amended--Continuation of Waiver Authority

    Pursuant to the authority vested in the President under the 
Trade Act of 1974, as amended, Public Law 93-618, 88 Stat. 1978 
(hereinafter ``the Act''), and assigned to the Secretary of 
State by virtue of Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13346 of 
July 8, 2004, as well as the authority delegated to the Deputy 
Secretary of State for Management and Resources by Delegation 
of Authority 245-1 of February 13, 2009, I determine, pursuant 
to Section 402(d)(1) of the Act, 19 U.S.C. 2432(d)(1), that the 
further extension of the waiver authority granted by Section 
402 of the Act will substantially promote the objectives of 
Section 402 of the Act. I further determine that continuation 
of the waiver applicable to Turkmenistan will substantially 
promote the objectives of Section 402 of the Act.
    This determination shall be published in the Federal 
Register.

                                   Thomas R. Nides,
                              Deputy Secretary of State for
                                          Management and Resources.