U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary David Sampson today announced the Ukraine is now a market based-economy. Sampson made the announcement while in Kiev for meetings with the Ukrainian government to discuss U.S.-Ukraine bilateral trade and investment relations, US Embassy in Ukraine press release reads.

“I congratulate all Ukrainians for making positive changes and achieving market economy status. This determination reflects the impressive economic developments that have occurred in Ukraine over the past several years,” said Sampson. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to expanding our bilateral economic relationship that will lead our two countries to peace, prosperity and stronger commercial ties.”

President Bush and President Yushchenko met last April in Washington, D.C. where the two leaders discussed integrating Ukraine into the world economy and promoting investment and trade between the two countries.

Sampson earlier today followed-up on those discussions in meetings with Minister of Finance Pynzenyk, First Deputy Prime Minister Stashevskiy and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tarasyuk. He plans to meet with Prime Minister Yekhanurov tomorrow. Dr. Sampson praised the government for becoming a market based economy and also raised various trade issues including Ukraine’s accession to the WTO and steps to improve business climate and prospects for expanding U.S.-Ukraine commercial opportunities.

“We are committed to working together to achieve Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organization,” Sampson said. “As a member of WTO, Ukraine would become partners in an ever-expanding group of nations that favor democratic and free-market economic values. This would open up potentially vast opportunities for local businesses, and would attract major industrial players.”

“We are making steady progress on our commercial agenda – to improve the business climate, expand market access and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights,” he concluded.

Ukraine’s current bid for market economy status began in 2002, in connection with an antidumping investigation on steel wire rod under U.S. Trade law.

The Commerce Department will now use the standard market economy methodology in antidumping.

The Commerce Department considered six criteria in determining the market or non-market status of the Ukraine economy. Those criteria included the extent of currency convertibility, free bargaining for wage rates, foreign investment, government ownership or control of production, government control over the allocation of resources, and other appropriate factors.

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