WTO

U.S. Claims Russia ‘Moving Away’ From Commitments Made To Join WTO

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The U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office says that Russia is continuing to move away from commitments it made a decade ago to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In its annual report to Congress on Moscow’s WTO compliance, the USTR on December 21 criticized Russia’s agricultural import restrictions and import-substitution policies.

“Over the past year, Russia has continued its trajectory of an economy moving away from the guiding principles of the WTO: nondiscrimination, freer trade, predictability, transparency, and fair competition,” the report said.

“Rather, Russia maintains restrictive at-the-border measures, institutes behind-the-border measures to inhibit trade, and implements an industrial policy seemingly driven by the guiding principles of import substitution and forced localization.”

The report said that in the agriculture sector, “Russia maintains non-science-based import restrictions and refuses to recognize other countries’ guarantees on exporting facilities.”

The USTR said the United States will “use all appropriate means to resolve the matter and keep Russia’s markets open to U.S. exports.”

Russia joined the WTO in 2012.

The report did not address any potential new U.S. trade actions that could be taken against Moscow should Russian President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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