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Washington, DC – Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish and First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv released the following joint statement after the eighth meeting of the United States – Ukraine Trade and Investment Council (TIC) held in Washington, DC on October 23, 2018:
“In the interest of deepening our close economic ties, today we co-hosted the eighth meeting of the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council to strengthen our bilateral trade and investment relationship. Despite the challenges it faces, Ukraine continues to work towards reforming its economy and strengthening its business and investment environment. The United States has expressed its continued support in ensuring a more independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine.
“The meeting included presentations from representatives of the business sector, which helped inform our discussions. Our relationships with businesses are vital to ensuring a long-term positive relationship between our two countries.
“In the government-to-government portion of the meeting, we discussed steps to expand bilateral trade in both agricultural and industrial products. We mutually agreed on the importance of transparency and predictability of rules governing imports of a variety of products.
“We noted the productive work of the Working Groups established to discuss technical and sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade and how to minimize those barriers. We also noted the intensive work of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group. Their work contributed to the adoption of a new law on collective management in Ukraine, and we encouraged their continued engagement to address outstanding concerns with that law and to ensure the development of a transparent, fair, and predictable system for the collective management of royalties. The experts noted their plans for future engagement on other draft IPR laws in Ukraine and in support of enhanced enforcement of current IPR laws.
“We also discussed our ongoing cooperation in bilateral investment relations. We agreed on the need for a reliable judiciary to demonstrate the importance of Ukraine’s commitment to the rule of law in creating an attractive investment environment. The United States raised particular concerns about the effect of the “informal” market on U.S. businesses’ ability to prosper in Ukraine. Emphasizing the importance of a transparent and predictable legal and regulatory environment, the delegations discussed proposed new rules governing electronic payment systems, as well as steps to address the unpredictable environment for refunds of value-added tax, transportation logistics, and agricultural export controls.
“We are committed to working together to support Ukraine’s continued reform efforts and to continue to build a strong and prosperous relationship. We look forward to expanding our efforts in the next TIC meeting in Kyiv in 2019.”
The United States and Ukraine signed the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICA) in 2008. The TICA established the TIC as the primary intergovernmental mechanism for discussion of trade and investment relations between the two countries.