Office of the United States Trade Representative


Statement by U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman Regarding Russia’s WTO Accession

"We're making steady progress with Russia on completing their bilateral accession agreement which is a part of Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). The United States believes it is in the interests of the U.S. and the global economy to have Russia in the rules based WTO system. We hope and believe we are close to concluding our bilateral negotiations. The negotiations must move on two tracks: completing bilateral agreements and then completing multilateral negotiations on how Russia will transform its trade regime to conform to WTO rules.

"Accession negotiations are complex and take time. But I must be clear: the remaining issues with Russia's accession – both bilateral and multilateral – are not new problems and they are not dissimilar to those issues addressed by others who have acceded to the WTO. We have been clear about those issues throughout the negotiations. The United States is working hard with Russia and our trading partners on both aspects of the negotiations.

"Russia must live up to the rules and obligations which all WTO members accept, whether it is on Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary standards, customs regulations or greater protections for intellectual property rights, for example. In negotiations last week, we narrowed differences on bilateral issues and pushed the multilateral process forward. Consistent with the commitment of President Bush, we will continue to work in good faith with the Russians to move this process forward to a successful conclusion."


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