March 7, 2006 -- Ukraine and the United States have signed a pact on market access, moving Ukraine a step closer to joining the World Trade Organization, the body that sets global trade rules.
The agreement was signed March 6 in Washington by Ukrainian Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.
Portman urged U.S. lawmakers to quickly remove the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment, which must be repealed for the accord to take effect. The amendment, which links U.S. trade benefits to the emigration and human rights policies of communist or formerly communist countries, continues to govern U.S. trade with Ukraine and Russia.
Under the new trade deal with the United States, Ukraine has agreed to phase out tariffs on computers, semiconductors, and aircraft products, and to substantially reduce or eliminate tariffs on chemicals.
(compiled from agency reports)