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Aug 24 -- The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will seek public comment to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the preparation of its annual report to Congress on Russia's implementation of its obligations as a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This notice includes the schedule for the submission of comments to the TPSC for the Russia Report and a virtual public hearing.

September 21, 2022 (Wednesday) at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of written comments for the 2022 Russia WTO implementation report and requests to testify.
October 4, 2022, (Tuesday) at 9:00 a.m. EDT: Virtual public hearing.

Russia became a Member of the WTO on August 22, 2012, and on December 21, 2012, following the termination of the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia and the extension of permanent normal trade relations to the products of Russia, the United States and Russia both filed letters with the WTO withdrawing their notices of non-application and consenting to have the WTO Agreement apply between them. In accordance with Section 201(a) of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-208), USTR is required to submit annually a report to Congress on the extent to which Russia is implementing the WTO Agreement, including the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The report also must assess Russia's progress on acceding to and implementing the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). In addition, to the extent that USTR finds that Russia is not implementing fully any WTO agreement or is not making adequate progress in acceding to the ITA or the GPA, USTR must describe in the report the actions it plans to take to encourage Russia to improve its implementation and/or increase its accession efforts. In accordance with Section 201(a), and to assist it in preparing this year's report, the TPSC is hereby soliciting public comments.

The terms of Russia's accession to 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 (including its annexes) (Protocol). The Report of the Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation (Working Party Report) provides detail and context to the commitments listed in the Protocol. You can find the Protocol and Working Party Report on USTR's website at https://ustr.gov/​node/​5887 or on the WTO website at http://docsonline.wto.org (document symbols: WT/ACC/RUS/70, WT/MIN(11)/2, WT/MIN(11)/24, WT/L/839, WT/ACC/RUS/70/Add.1, WT/MIN(11)/2/Add.1, WT/ACC/RUS/70/Add.2, and WT/MIN(11)/2/Add.1.)

USTR invites public comments and/or oral testimony on Russia's implementation of its WTO commitments. Written comments and/or oral testimony of interested persons should address Russia's implementation of the commitments made in connection with its accession to the WTO, including, but not limited to, commitments in the following areas:

a. Import regulation (e.g., tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, quotas, import licenses).
b. Export regulation.
c. Subsidies.
d. Standards and technical regulations.
e. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
f. Trade-related investment measures (including local content requirements).
g. Taxes and charges levied on imports and exports.
h. Other internal policies affecting trade.
i. Intellectual property rights (including intellectual property rights enforcement).
j. Services.
k. Government procurement.
l. Rule of law issues (e.g., transparency, judicial review, uniform administration of laws and regulations).
m. Other WTO commitments.

The TPSC will convene a virtual public hearing via Zoom on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Persons wishing to observe the public hearing will find a link on USTR's web page for Russia on the day of the hearing at https://ustr.gov/​countries-regions/​europe-middle-east/​russia-and-eurasia/​russia.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-18253

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