U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez will urge Russia and Ukraine to step up efforts to join the World Trade Organization when he visits there next week, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, according to Reuters
"I`m looking forward to meeting with government officials, business leaders and members of civil society in both Russia and Ukraine to hear how they`re promoting economic growth opportunity and good governance in this very important part of the world," Gutierrez said in a statement.
The United States has concluded bilateral deals with both countries on the terms of their entry into the WTO.
Moscow and Kiev still need to reach a final agreement with all WTO members to bring their overall trade regime into line with international norms.
The United States is pressing Russia in the multilateral WTO talks to do much more to stop the piracy and counterfeiting of U.S. movies, music, software and other goods.
Gutierrez will also raise concerns about Russian draft legislation setting strict foreign investment limits in "strategic" industries such as energy, aerospace and transportation, the Commerce Department said.
Gutierrez, who will be in Moscow next Monday to Wednesday, also wants to discuss opportunities for U.S. exporters to sell to Russia`s state-owned sector, "which has grown under the Putin administration," the department said.
The former Kellogg Co. chief executive will press Ukrainian leaders to do more to protect intellectual property rights and open their market to foreign competition when he is in Kiev on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, the department said.