NEW DELHI – The
United States and Ukraine have concluded bilateral negotiations on market access
issues related to Ukraine’s World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. Trade
Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will join U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman in
Washington on March 6, 2006 to formally sign the agreement.
"This agreement marks a milestone for both countries in our bilateral trade
relations. It confirms Ukraine’s commitment to broad-based reform and economic
liberalization. It also demonstrates Ukraine’s resolve to join the international
trading system," said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman. "As a result of
these negotiations, we can expect greater bilateral cooperation on economic
issues, and a strong boost to Ukraine’s efforts to complete the accession
Over the course of the negotiations, the Administration has consulted closely
with the Congress about America’s concerns and interests, most particularly
Members and Staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance
Committee and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Congressional action
is necessary to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Ukraine. This
will clear the way for the two countries to apply the WTO Agreement between them
when Ukraine becomes a WTO member.
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 eight other 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 accession.
The United States is continuing to work with other accession candidates,
including Russia and Vietnam, and hopes to conclude these bilateral agreements
in the near future.