Director of the Department of Trade Negotiations Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Medvedkov announced that beginning 23 August, the Russian Federation legally will become the 156th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Russia has completed the domestic ratification procedures necessary to join the WTO after 18 years of negotiations
According to Ria News, Russia’s membership in the WTO requires the country to bring its trade laws and practices into compliance with WTO rules and other trade liberalization policies. Starting August 23, Russia will have to eliminate agriculture export subsidies, enforce intellectual property rights, increase transparency and reduce the import duties which were raised during the 2009 crisis, including those for new cars.
Membership will require Russia to liberalize market access, and lower its final legally-binding tariff ceiling to 7.8% from a 2011 average of 10%, for all products. The average tariff ceiling will be 10.8% for agriculture products (13.2% currently) and 7.3% for manufactured goods (down from 9.5% currently).
Russia’s acceptance into the WTO is viewed as benefiting to American businesses. Lower tariffs, greater predictability, and trade reforms and enforcement mechanisms will increase export and foreign investment opportunities.
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