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, Office of the United States Trade Representative informed.

"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 negotiations."

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.


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