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Obama welcomes Russian WTO accession as reset step

November 11, 2011, 3:31 UTC+3
This is a significant day for U.S.-Russia relations, and for our commitment to a growing, rules-based global economy,” Obama said
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WASHINGTON, November 11 (Itar-Tass) —— U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed on Thursday the successful completion of 18-year old negotiations on the Russian accession to the World Trade Organization and said it was also a result of the reset policy.

“I congratulate President Medvedev and his government for completing negotiations on the terms and conditions for Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which were adopted today by the WTO Working Party on Russia’s accession. The outcome of today’s Working Party meeting is the last step before WTO Ministers approve these terms and invite Russia to become a WTO Member, which we expect to take place at the WTO ministerial conference on December 15-17, 2011. After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia will now be able to join to the WTO. This is a significant day for U.S.-Russia relations, and for our commitment to a growing, rules-based global economy,” Obama said in a statement.

He added Russia’s membership in the WTO will lower tariffs, improve international access to Russia’s services markets, hold the Russian government accountable to a system of rules governing trade behavior, and provide the means to enforce those rules.

“Russia’s membership in the WTO will generate more exports for American manufacturers and farmers, which in turn will support well-paying jobs in the United States,” the president said and added he would work with the Congress to “end the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia in order to ensure that American firms and American exporters will enjoy the same benefits of Russian WTO membership as their international competitors.”

“Russia’s WTO accession would be yet another important step forward in our reset of relations with Russia, which has been based upon the belief that the United States and Russia share many common interests, even as we disagree on some issues. Whether cooperating to supply our forces in Afghanistan, securing nuclear materials, or achieving the New START Treaty, the United States and Russia have demonstrated the ability to produce “win-win” outcomes on security issues. Russia’s dramatic step today towards joining the WTO underscores our ability to cooperate also on economic issues of mutual interest,” Obama said.

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