Belarus called U.S. demands in negotiations on WTO inflated

© AFP 2018 / Fabrice CoffriniШтаб-apartment world Trade Organization in Geneva. Archival photoBelarus called U.S. demands in negotiations on WTO inflated© 2018 AFP / Fabrice Coffrini

USA against the background of tensions in world trade of Belarus impose high demands in bilateral negotiations on the accession of Minsk to the WTO, said first Deputy foreign Minister of Belarus Andrei Yevdochenko.

Belarus has applied for WTO accession in 1993, in recent years, efforts to join the organization intensified. As stated at the end of October, Prime Minister Sergei Rumas, the government has set itself the task by the end of 2019 to complete the negotiations, and in 2020 — to join the organization. While the foreign Ministry noted that Belarus is planning to the first quarter of next year to complete bilateral negotiations with all partners except the United States.

«Now is not a very favorable period from the standpoint of the development of world trade: gaining momentum protectionism, intensified sanctions and counter-sanctions between the major players. … The US administration applies a rigorous approach to all countries for trade relations. Unfortunately, we at this time «got under distribution». Perhaps at other times the approach of the us administration in the region … purely trade relations would be more liberal,» said Yevdochenko, commenting to RIA Novosti, the negotiations.

He noticed that at the first stage the representatives of the United States «asking questions is a fairly General plan,» until questions about the separation of powers in the country. «Last year Americans went specifically to the subject, which is associated with the WTO, began to ask very specific questions,» added Yevdochenko.

He said that the US offer of Belarus to join the «initiatives that span a variety of industries in a certain amount of goods.» «For example, offer to accede to the agreement on aviation, parts for aircraft. It has all the elements of the «WTO-plus», entering the country is under no obligation to accede to such agreements. But, of course, our partners would like to take opportunity of our accession (to the WTO — ed.) so we went further and took the package, «WTO-plus» Yevdochenko said.

Speaking about the issue, which has yet to decide on the way of joining the organization, Yevdochenko said that there are requests from WTO members on the subject of reducing the level of tariff protection, market access of agricultural products, the presence of branches of foreign companies in Belarus.

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