Posted August 21, 2013
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced a request for comments and notice of public hearings concerning Russia’s implementation of its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The Federal Register notice is available here.

According to the notice, the USTR seeks comments on Russia’s implementation of its commitments as a member of the WTO including: import regulation, export regulation, subsidies, standards and technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade-related investment measures, taxes and charges levied on imports and exports, other internal policies affecting trade, intellectual property rights, services, rule of law issues, and other WTO commitments.

Russia became a member of the WTO on August 22, 2012.  In accordance with the Russia and Moldov Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitskiy Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, available here, the USTR is required to submit “a report to Congress on the extent to which Russia is implementing the WTO Agreement” by Dec. 21 of each year.  The terms of Russia’s membership in the WTO are contained in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Protocol on the Accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO.  The Report of the Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation, available here, provides detailed information on Russia’s terms of membership.

The comment period ends on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 and a hearing will be held on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 in Washington DC.