President of the United States George W. Bush lifted Ukraine from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment by signing into law H.R. 1053, a bill which authorizes the Extension of Nondiscriminatory Treatment to the Products of Ukraine, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation reported.

President Bush declared that "The bill I sign today marks the beginning of a new era in our history with Ukraine."

The President pointed out that "As Ukraine embraces democracy and more open trade, our nation's friendship will grow. President Yushchenko has made reforms to increase transparency and provide intellectual property protection and strengthen the enforcement of the rule of law.

These reforms have taken great conviction. And earlier this month, our two nations signed a bilateral agreement that will establish the terms of trade between our nations when Ukraine joins the World Trade Organization. We support Ukraine's goal of joining the WTO, and we will help resolve the remaining steps required for entry as quickly as possible. As the Ukrainian government continues to build on a record of progress at home, we will help Ukraine joins the institutions that unite free nations and become a part of Europe that is whole, free, and at peace."

The ceremony took place in the Old Executive Office Building. Those in attendance included Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Representative Tom Lantos (D-CA), Representative Candice S. Miller (R-MI), Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Representative Michael G Fitzpatrick (R- PA), as well as Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition members.


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