WASHINGTON – U.S.
Trade Representative Rob Portman today thanked the House of Representatives for
its swift passage of H.R. 1053 –to authorize the extension of normal trade relations
treatment to the products of Ukraine.
"Just two days ago, Ukrainian Minister Yatensyuk and I formally signed a
bilateral agreement between our two countries. Today, the House acted swiftly
and decisively to terminate Jackson-Vanik for Ukraine," said Ambassador Portman.
"I appreciate this rapid and bipartisan effort. It sends a positive and
strong signal to our Ukrainian partners who have instituted reforms that
increase transparency, provide greater intellectual property protections and
stronger enforcement of the rule of law," Portman added.
On March 6, 2006, USTR Portman and Ukrainian Minister of Economy Arseniy
Yatsenyuk formally signed a bilateral agreement on market access issues as part
of Ukraine’s WTO accession. This agreement is a major step toward Ukraine’s
completion of its accession negotiations.
Ukraine has been negotiating its terms of accession to the General Agreement
on Tariff and Trade (GATT), and then to the WTO, since 1994. Ukraine is still
negotiating bilateral market access agreements with a few remaining countries.
To complete its accession bid, Ukraine must complete those bilateral market
access negotiations and also the multilateral negotiations on a Working Party
Report and Protocol of Accession. Ukraine is also still in the process of
enacting legislation that will enable it to apply WTO provisions after its
Congressional action is necessary to terminate application of Jackson-Vanik
to Ukraine. This step clears the way for the two countries to apply the WTO
Agreement between them when Ukraine becomes a WTO member. Since revenue measures
must originate in the House of Representatives, the Senate will need to take
action on H.R. 1053. The Senate approved S. 632 – a similar measure – on November 18, 2005.