Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk welcomed the news that Russia has taken its final step toward membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) by notifying the WTO that it has accepted the terms for its membership in the WTO. Thirty days from now, on August 22, Russia will become the 156th Member of the WTO.
“Russia is the 6th largest economy in the world, and today’s action marks a significant point in the evolution of the WTO and the global trading system,” Ambassador Kirk said. “As we have long said, Russia’s membership in the WTO’s rules-based global trading system can benefit Russia, the WTO, and the United States. Congress should continue to work on legislation regarding Jackson-Vanik and Permanent Normal Trade Relations for Russia so American businesses, workers and creators have access to the same benefits from Russia’s membership that their foreign competitors have.”
The United States still applies the conditions set out in the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia. Since the WTO Agreement requires permanent, unconditional normal trade relations between Members, the United States and Russia have stated that the Agreement will not apply between them for the time being. The Administration is working with Congress on legislation to terminate the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and authorize the President to extend permanent normal trade relations to Russia as soon as possible.