USA Ready To Reconsider Its Firm Position On Trade Partnership With Russia

The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce announced Friday at a meeting with Anatoly Aksanov, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on economic policy and entrepreneurship, that the USA was ready to reconsider its uncompromising stance on trade relations with Russia. The US official has arrived in Moscow in the leadup to a meeting of Presidents George Bush of the US and Vladimir Putin of Russia, to be held within the framework of the next G-8 summit. Aksakov reported that the cancellation of the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, which envisages discriminatory terms for Russia in bilateral trade, was the focus of the meeting. The amendment, in particular, sets limitations on high-tech exports to Russia. Aksakov expressed his surprise at the fact that the USA has not yet abolished the amendment and opined that it should be done before Russia joins the World Trade Organisation. The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce noted that he saw no obstacles to the abolition of the amendment. He promised to draft a corresponding proposal and submit it to the George W. Bush administration. Issues related to the provision of a legislative base that would be beneficial for investors, to the tax reform, and to the harmonisation of the product sharing agreement were also prominent on the meeting's agenda. In addition, the sides reached an agreement on closer cooperation toward improvement of corporate management in Russia and boosting of promising business projects from US investors.

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