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Ambassador Sapiro Meets With Government Leaders at St. Petersburg International Forum

Last week, Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro traveled to Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The SPIEF is an annual summit in Russia that brings together international leaders in government, business, and academia to address global economic opportunities and challenges.

While in St. Petersburg, Ambassador Sapiro spoke to a variety of stakeholders, including young entrepreneurs and U.S. and foreign business leaders, about the importance of U.S.-Russia economic relations. In her remarks, she emphasized U.S. support for Russia’s accession to the WTO, calling it the “single highest priority in our economic relationship.” Russia is currently the largest economy outside the WTO and has been negotiating its accession for 17 years. Its membership in the WTO would dramatically increase market access for U.S. businesses, farmers, and consumers and would improve access for Russia’s goods in foreign markets around the world.

At the SPIEF, Ambassador Sapiro also delivered remarks about the importance of protecting intellectual property in the digital age. As she explained, intellectual property rights “are a fundamental feature of a modern competitive economy” and “create the framework in which creativity and innovation can thrive. . . . A failure to enforce IPR only rewards those who seek to gain from the hard work, creativity and innovation of others.”

Ambassador Sapiro at the St. Petersburg International Forum
Ambassador Sapiro speaks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Throughout the forum Ambassador Sapiro also held bilateral meetings with senior Russian officials to discuss these and other bilateral issues.