"I was very pleased that we got such good results," he said. "All
pieces of legislation have stops along the way, but I'm encouraged to see
the response so far."
Scott first introduced the bill last year but never reached the
committee's review. Before that, two attempts by Scott's predecessor,
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale), to establish a trade office in Yerevan
Scott said a few of his revisions to the bill may have helped its
One revision includes establishing the trade office as a three-year
pilot program, rather than a permanent fixture, that needs to be reviewed
at the end of its tenure.
"After 2 1/2 years, it has to be evaluated for its effectiveness and
then it has to be reintroduced," Scott said. "That simply means that
you've placed a limit on it so that if it's ineffective, you can phase it
out, and if its' effective, you can reintroduce it and make it permanent
In addition, the revised bill would make the office a regional trading
facility that could eventually include areas in Western Asia and Eastern
Europe, Scott said.
Gov. Gray Davis signed a memorandum of understanding in November
agreeing to strengthen the economic, political and educational ties
between California and Armenia.
Arthur Babayan, executive director of the Glendale-based Armenian
American Chamber of Commerce, said a trade office is the key to
solidifying that relationship.
"If you want to have real contact between California and Armenia, this
is the only way," he said. "There's a lot of businesses here that would
like to have business with Armenia and this would be a good opportunity
for them. This is a win-win program that's not only for Armenia but for
Scott's bill will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee for