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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cabinet Approves Bill On Foreign Dumping

The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft bill, conforming to World Trade Organization rules, revising the way the country protects its farming and enterprises from foreign dumping, a deputy minister said.

The bill will soon be presented to the State Duma for debate.

Russia, the last large power yet to join the WTO, has been negotiating entry for eight years and hopes to complete talks with member states so it can enter by 2003.

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Maxim Medvedkov said the bill would replace a 1996 law with rules that were "fully in accordance with WTO norms."

Medvedkov said the bill simplified the mechanism for imposing tariffs if imports harmed Russian industry.

"The previous bill was outdated, and many contradictions emerged in the practice of imposing anti-dumping measures," he said.

Trade policy has become a high-profile issue in Russia this month because of a U.S. decision to slap heavy tariffs on steel imports and due to a Russian ban on imports of U.S. poultry.

WTO member countries have objected to what they consider high levels of state subsidy for Russia's agricultural sector, still dominated by inefficient collective farms.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov defended the government's plans to join the world trade body by the end of 2003, saying entry would be beneficial and Russia would still be able to protect key sectors such as agriculture and civil aviation. "Why should we join it if we do not get positive results?" Kasyanov told a Cabinet meeting in televised comments. "Of course, protecting Russian producers is necessary, but only where it helps develop competitiveness, where it is necessary to preserve the most important sectors. Civil aviation or agriculture are good examples."

He said Russia could soon reach the point where its farmers would not only feed the country but would also look to export.