Quantcast
Connect with us

Putin signs Russia into World Trade Organization

Published

on

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed the bill ratifying Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organization after 18 years of often acrimonious negotiations, the Kremlin press office said.

Economists have long argued that Russia needed to join the WTO as it was the only major economy outside the body — following China’s membership in 2001 — and the government hopes accession will stimulate growth.

ADVERTISEMENT

The measure making Russia the 156th WTO member will become law within 30 days, after the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved it on July 10 and the upper house, the Federation Council, on Wednesday.

But the membership has also been controversial, with some medium-sized firms expressing concern they will be put out of business by being unable to compete against imports made cheaper by a reduction in customs tariffs.

The reduction of the tariffs was a key condition for Russia entering the WTO and they will fall from a current average level of 9.5 percent to 7.4 percent in 2013, 6.9 percent in 2014 and 6.0 percent in 2015.

According to the World Bank, WTO entry will bring a boost worth 3.3 percent of Russian GDP — or $49 billion — in the first three years after joining. Over 10 years, the gain will be worth 11 percent of GDP, it says.

But Senator Sergei Lisovsky warned this week that Russia was wholly unprepared to compete without trade protection against other world economies which were more used to competition and were considerably less corrupt.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russia’s journey to joining the WTO started back in 1993 but was marked by frequent rows with Western partners, objections by its foes and not least a sometimes lukewarm attitude on the part of the Russian leadership.

But Putin is now openly championing modernisation of the economy to wean the country off dependence on oil and gas exports and officials have warned progress is not possible without WTO membership.

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

House Intelligence report on Trump is scathing — but does anyone really care?

Published

on

On Wednesday of last week, the House Intelligence Committee issued its impeachment report on President Trump. The facts are clear. Trump has engaged in obstruction of justice, abuse of power and other high crimes and misdemeanors in his effort to extort or bribe the government of Ukraine into aiding him in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump also usurped the power of Congress to allocate public money in the form of military aid to Ukraine. Trump has also repeatedly invited foreign countries to interfere in America’s elections on his behalf.
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Giuliani did all the wrong things’ on 9/11: Investigative reporter Wayne Barrett

Published

on

Janine Jackson interviewed the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett about Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 for the August 17, 2007, episode of CounterSpin; that conversation was rebroadcast for the November 29, 2019, show. This is a lightly edited transcript.

[audio mp3="https://www.rawstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CounterSpin191129Barrett.mp3"][/audio]

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Teenage boy’s family objects to ProPublica publication of video detailing his death

Published

on

The family of a teenage boy whose death ProPublica investigated has objected to the publication of a surveillance video that documented his last hours.

Yesterday, ProPublica published a detailed account of failings and missteps by the U.S. Border Patrol, in whose custody 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died. As part of the story, ProPublica published several moments from a lengthy surveillance video in which Carlos struggles on the floor of his cell and then stops moving. The video, which had not been shared with Congress or the public, contradicts the government’s claim that Carlos was discovered as a result of a “welfare check.’’ It shows that his cellmate awoke, saw his motionless body, and summoned Border Patrol agents.

Continue Reading