Annual meeting of Ukraine-U.S. Trade and Investment Council scheduled for autumn – U.S. Trade Council
The annual meeting of the Ukrainian-American Trade and Investment Council is scheduled for autumn, Martin Claessens, the Senior Commercial Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, has said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
"The bilateral Trade and Investment Council's annual meeting is scheduled to take place in the fall this year. The council is a useful forum to gather all the relevant ministries and agencies from our two governments to discuss ways to increase bilateral trade and investment. During last year's meeting the council discussed issues such as technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights enforcement, and the importance of a transparent and predictable legal and regulatory environment. The agenda for this year's meeting has not yet been set, but will probably include similar issues," he said.
"The constraints on U.S. investment in Ukraine are the same as for other foreign and Ukrainian investors. The difficulties in the business environment deter investment, especially problems with corruption and the weak judicial system. Ukraine's infrastructure challenges also constrain investment," the official stated.
"The United States still has concerns with the widespread pirating of intellectual property such as movies and music, the government's continued use of unlicensed software, and Ukraine's collective management regime," he said.
"The [Verkhovna] Rada passed a new collective management organizations (CMO) law in 2018 that, while not perfect, created a framework in which right holders can receive proper and adequate compensation for their creative works. We are monitoring the implementation of this legislation and its effectiveness in reducing the number of rogue CMOs in Ukraine and thus ensuring proper distribution of royalties," he added.
Speaking about U.S. sanctions against the Russian Federation, Claessens said "the United States has made it very clear that there will be no relief of eastern Ukraine-related sanctions until Russia meets its commitments under the Minsk agreements."
"And no relief from Crimea-related sanctions until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine. We have also been clear that the door to dialogue is open, should Russia choose to take credible steps toward a constructive path," the official said.