Goodlatte Meets with Russian Minister of Agriculture Regarding Trade Issues: Continues to Push for Open Access to Russian Markets for U.S. Agriculture Products as Evidence That Russia is Ready to Join the WTO

May 1, 2003

GOODLATTE MEETS WITH RUSSIAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE REGARDING TRADE ISSUES
Continues to Push for Open Access to Russian Markets for U.S. Agriculture Products as Evidence That Russia is Ready to Join the WTO

WASHINGTON, D.C: - This morning Chairman Bob Goodlatte, in a meeting with Aleksey Gordeyev, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister, engaged in a broad discussion of timely issues including Russia’s desired accession to the World Trade Organization, and continued barriers to U.S./Russia poultry trade.

“We engaged in an open dialogue with the Russian Minister of Agriculture surrounding issues which are at the forefront of U.S. and Russia trade relations” Goodlatte said. “While progress has certainly been made in the technical discussion surrounding poultry, we will continue to press for U.S. poultry to have open access to the Russian market. We still need to see a commitment on Russia’s behalf to reform their trade practices, as a condition of future WTO accession.”

In early April the U.S. and Russia reached an accord on poultry technical trade issues. New veterinary standards had been agreed to last year but not fully implemented as a result of technical differences. Those differences were resolved in April following talks between Secretary Veneman and Mr. Gordeyev, thereby enabling inspections of U.S. poultry plants to resume immediately--which they have.

“There are still unresolved issues surrounding Russia’s import quotas on poultry products, which severely impact U.S. producers and their ability to compete in Russia,” Goodlatte continued. This issue has long been a concern to Goodlatte.

During the meeting Goodlatte shared with Gordeyev his commitment to the principles of free trade and his belief that lessening restrictions on U.S. poultry will not only benefit U.S. poultry producers, but will also provide the Russian people with a safe, affordable food product.

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