Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec at Social Security Totalization Agreement Signing

March 23rd, 2023
Ministry of Labor

Minister Budai,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Buna ziua. I would like to begin by thanking Minister Budai and our hosts for making today possible.

Romania and the United States enjoy an unshakable and enduring friendship built upon shared values and abiding commitments. The relationship also thrives in every step we take to bring our peoples closer and to deliver real and tangible benefits to them. Today’s signing of this Social Security Totalization Agreement does exactly that.

Totalization agreements such as the one we are signing today protect the benefits of those who have divided their work lives and careers between two countries—perhaps among even more. And it is certainly no surprise that in today’s ever more interconnected and global world, the numbers of our citizens who have done just this is constantly on the rise.

The Agreement we are signing today will allow each of our countries to count periods of social security coverage earned in the other country as needed, to secure entitlement and access to benefits. Henceforth, access to earned benefits—and life for our binational and bicontinental working and retired citizens—will be easier.

Today, we eliminate concerns about so-called ‘double taxation’ for the purposes of social security and we help prevent any gaps in the protection of workers who have directly contributed to both of our nations’ systems.

We are here as the result of more than a decade of hard work and cooperation between our two countries and their representatives.

On behalf of every American, dual-national, and Romanian who is directly impacted by this step, I thank you Minister Budai for your dedication and that of your team. It was more than ten years in the making, and this is a very significant and positive step.

Thank you.