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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Blames Barriers for Trade Deficit

The United States' trade deficit with Russia grew by 25 percent in 2002 to $4.4 billion, according to the U.S. 2003 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, released Wednesday.

The report suggested that U.S. exports to Russia decreased as a result of frequent and unpredictable changes in Russian customs regulations, overwhelming bureaucracy, lack of copyright protection and an inefficient judicial system.

Imports from Russia, which was the United States' 39th largest export market in 2002, increased 9 percent to approximately $6.8 billion in 2002, the report said.

The annual report, which was released this week, analyzed the specific trade barriers for U.S.-produced goods and services encountered in 44 individual countries including the European Union and the Arab League of Nations.

According to the report, the film industry estimated that over 80 percent of all DVDs on the Russian market were counterfeit. The report also suggests that counterfeit DVDs are produced for both the domestic and export markets, leaving U.S.-made DVDs undesirable because of their expensive price tags.

"According to industry sources, estimated losses to U.S. copyright industries due to intellectual property piracy -- films, videos, sound recordings, books and computer software -- exceeded $755 million in 2002," the report said.

At the same time the legal system is not prepared to defend patent cases.

Ongoing disputes between Russian and U.S. authorities over poultry and meat imports to Russia in 2002 caused a drop in poultry imports by 35 percent in volume and 44 percent in value.

The report also listed the limitations on the work of foreign service providers, such as banks or insurance companies, as well as the slowness of licensing and standardization procedures, as a deterrent to U.S. exports.

The process is particularly slow for telecommunications equipment, which is tested for compliance with standards established by both the State Standards Committee and the Communications Ministry.

The whole process can take as long as 12 to 18 months, the report said.

The report is based on information compiled from the office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, and other U.S. government agencies.

It is also supplemented with information provided by members of the private sector trade advisory committees and U.S. Embassies abroad.