Thursday, October 7, 2010

Russia Resolves Key Issues with U.S. over WTO Accession

(Bridges Weekly)

Russia and the United States have reached bilateral resolutions on several trade issues, removing another set of hurdles facing the entry to the WTO of the world’s largest economy that is not already a member of the global trade body.

On October 1, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin announced in Yalta that Russia had resolved its bilateral negotiations with the US over WTO accession, and would now move to conclude its multilateral negotiations in Geneva. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk welcomed “bilateral agreement on key issues related to the accession process,” adding that Moscow would now be free to devote more attention to remaining barriers at the multilateral level.

According to a statement from Kirk’s office, Washington and Moscow have reached agreements in principle on issues such as intellectual property rights, government procurement, and transparency in the decision-making process on trade-related issues. The bilaterally-agreed solutions reflect what the US would like to see in Russia’s eventual WTO commitments; the compromises will now be considered by other countries in the WTO Working Party on Russia’s accession. Read more here.