[House Document 113-50]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



113th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 113-50


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

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY, 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




July 26, 2013.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, DC, May 29, 2013.
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 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,
                                 Thomas B. Gibbons,
                                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''), also known 
as the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

                  FREEDOM OF EMIGRATION DETERMINATION

    Turkmenistan was found compliant with the Act 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, including restrictions on 
emigration. The government officially removed the exit visa 
regime in January 2004, restoring some freedom of movement, 
including freedom of emigration.
    The Government of Turkmenistan's 2005 Law on Migration has 
been used to limit the ability of Turkmen 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 victims of 
trafficking, and those whose departure threatens Turkmenistan's 
national security can be prevented from traveling.
    Although the government denies maintaining a list of 
persons not permitted to leave the country, it continues to bar 
select individuals from departing. All citizens and visitors to 
Turkmenistan are required to undergo a check by the State 
Migration Service prior to departing the country. Some family 
members of officials imprisoned in 2002 who wanted to emigrate 
to join relatives abroad have not been allowed to do so. People 
subject to a suspected 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. In general, 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 to retrieve their passports.
    Emigration is possible for most Turkmen citizens. The top 
destination countries for emigration from Turkmenistan are the 
Russian Federation, Ukraine, Israel, Latvia, Turkey, Germany, 
Armenia, the United States, Kazakhstan, and Iran. Official 
statistics, however, are difficult to obtain. 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. 
An unofficial source reported the Government of Turkmenistan 
permitted the migration of 34 Jewish citizens of Turkmenistan 
from the country in 2008, 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 the fall of 
2009, students who planned to study at the American University 
in Central Asia were not allowed to depart to Bishkek, and in 
addition 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. 
Authorities denied exit to eight recipients of scholarships to 
the Smolny Institute in Russia in August 2012. No explanation 
was provided in these cases.
    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 a tool for the United 
States to encourage the Government of Turkmenistan to ease its 
emigration restrictions, in combination with ongoing engagement 
on specific issues such as dual citizenship or 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. Turkmenistan's announcement in early 2013 
of its goal of acceding to the World Trade Organization 
provides an additional opportunity to press its government to 
adopt further reforms to its migration policies. The waiver 
extension is essential to maintain conditions for bilateral 
dialogue on freedom of emigration and movement and thus will 
substantially promote the objectives of Section 402 of the 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 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.

                                          William J. Burns,
                                         Deputy Secretary of State.