USTR Issues First Annual Report on Russia’s WTO Compliance: Focus on Implementation
Washington, D.C. – This week the United States Trade Representative (USTR) submitted to Congress its first annual “Report on Russia’s Implementation of the WTO Agreement.” The Report reviews specific commitments that Russia undertook as part of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as Russia’s implementation of those commitments. It further describes actions USTR is taking in those areas where USTR has identified a concern with Russia’s implementation of its commitments.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman applauded the significant changes Russia has made to its legal regime to become a Member of WTO, but stressed there is more work to do to fully implement its WTO trade commitments.
“Changing its laws does not guarantee Russia’s WTO compliance or ensure that U.S. workers and businesses will realize the full benefits of Russia’s WTO membership; actual implementation is what counts,” said Ambassador Froman. “The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that Russia implements its commitments in order to secure the benefits of Russia’s WTO membership for U.S. manufacturers, workers, farmers, ranchers, service providers, creators and innovators.”
This Report was prepared pursuant to section 201(a) of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitskiy Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-208), which requires the U.S. Trade Representative not later than one year after the United States extends permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to the products of Russia, and annually thereafter, to submit a report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives assessing the extent to which Russia is implementing the “WTO Agreement” (including the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and the progress Russia has made in acceding to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). In addition, to the extent that USTR believes that Russia is not fully implementing its WTO commitments or not sufficiently progressing to accede to the ITA and the GPA, the Report is to describe the actions that USTR plans to take to encourage Russia to improve its implementation of its commitments or increase its progress toward acceding, as the case may be. Consistent with other provisions in P.L. 112-208, in June 2013, USTR submitted the first annual “Enforcement Report” on WTO enforcement actions against Russia.