MEMA outlines concerns over Russia’s WTO bid

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and 15 other organizations representing other copyright, patent and trademark holders have sent a letter to President Bush requesting the administration not finalize talks for Russia’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) until the Russian Government improves protection of intellectual property rights and enforcement.

Russia has been working to gain admission to the WTO for several years, but still falls short of many requirements.

“The Russian government must demonstrate its willingness and ability to commit fully to the rules and principles of the WTO,” the letter says. “Despite the tireless work of U.S. negotiators, Russia still needs to make improvements in several key areas, including, but not limited to, significantly improving its protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the enforcement thereof, improving the protection of clinical data submitted for registration applications by innovative biopharmaceuticals, its non-discriminatory and science-based application of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and other tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports, the reversal of recently increased tariffs on agricultural equipment, its non-trade distorting application of import licensing of encryption, and the phasing out of the sectoral FDI caps in the insurance and banking sectors within a reasonable time by a date certain and ensuring that the agreement provides for 100% ownership and choice of juridical form.”

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