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Joint Statement on the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, October 5, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and the First Vice  Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Yuliya Kovaliv released the following joint statement after the sixth meeting of the United States - Ukraine Trade and Investment Council (TIC) held in Washington, D.C.

“Continuing the close collaboration between our two countries, today we co-hosted the sixth meeting of the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council in which we exchanged ideas and identified practical steps to deepen our bilateral trade and investment relationship.  In the face of significant challenges, Ukraine continues to take important steps to reform its economy and strengthen its business and investment environment. The United States remains a committed partner in support of an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine.

“Reflecting the close partnership between business and government, we opened the meeting with presentations from representatives of the business sector.  We recognize that government and business must build a partnership built on mutual trust and objectives.  Consequently, we listened carefully to their concerns and recommendations, and will work to weave them into our work going forward. 

“The delegations then discussed measures to enhance bilateral trade opportunities beneficial to both countries, and to eliminate barriers to increased bilateral trade.  We reviewed Ukraine’s efforts to improve its enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights and its program to rationalize its regulatory regime.  We also discussed steps to expand Ukraine’s export potential, including the importance of expanding Ukraine’s utilization of the United States Generalized System of Preferences benefits and of using multilateral tools to address trade barriers in third country markets.  The Government of Ukraine noted with appreciation the role of U.S. advice and technical assistance in furthering Ukraine’s trade development and promotion efforts.

“The second part of the meeting focused on Ukraine’s reforms to enhance its business and investment climate.  The International Monetary Fund’s recent approval of the latest disbursement of $1 billion, and finalization of the U.S. Government’s third $1 billion loan guarantee, send important messages to the business community.  The United States took note of the significant reforms Ukraine has undertaken, and urged the Ukrainian delegation to intensify its government’s efforts to solidify efforts to increase the predictability and transparency in its economy to benefit both domestic and foreign businesses.  The delegations discussed the importance of reform in the energy sector and the implementation of a fair and transparent value added tax refund system.  Both sides recognized the need to broaden the business base by attracting increased investment.  Finally, the delegations took note of Ukraine's anti-corruption campaign and discussed how strengthening the rule of law improves the business environment for Ukrainian businesses, particularly SMEs, but also demonstrates to foreign investors that their investments and other property will treated in a fair and just manner.   The United States urged the Ukrainian delegation to actively support such reforms.

“Both delegations stressed the need to maintain the momentum of the discussions, and committed to continued engagement by the technical experts.  While acknowledging the progress today, both sides likewise agreed that much work remains.  Participants in the Council meeting expressed confidence in the potential of the Ukrainian economy and committed to continue our work together to support Ukraine’s reform efforts and to build a vibrant and flourishing bilateral economic relationship.   We look forward to a fulsome progress report at the next TIC meeting in Kyiv in 2017.”  

Background

After Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2008, Ukraine and the United States signed the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICA) in the same year.  The TICA established the TIC as the primary intergovernmental mechanism for discussion of trade and investment relations between the two countries.