Russia Joins the 90%

This op-ed was originally posted on the Global Economic Governance 2012 Blog.  It can be found here: https://globaleconomicgovernance2012.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/russia-joins-the-90/ On August 22, 2012, after the longest accession process in the history of the international body, the Russian Federation became the 157th nation to officially join the World Trade Organization. It took 18 years, but the Working Party (WP), a body comprised of sixty-member nations (including the U.S.) responsible for the negotiation of the Russian accession, reached an accord with the former communist superpower on the trade commitments it will undertake. The second longest accession process lasted 15 years. That country was China. It should be noted that accession is no simple achievement. A country seeking to join the WTO must not only meet the terms of the WP, but also must engage in bilateral negotiations with each WP member, and essentially please everyone before it’s permitted to join. These steps, coupled with a country’s need to liberalize its trade and conform to the standards of a market-based economy, shed a bit of light on the challenge of joining the club, especially for a country like Russia. So to what did Russia agree in order to join the community in which 90% of global trade occurs? According to a CRS report on Russia’s accession to the WTO, the Russians have agreed to several major issue provisions:   Energy Pricing. Russia signed an agreement with...

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