Ukraine IPR Policies and Practices to be Subject of USTR Probe
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has initiated an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 of the acts, policies and practices of the government of Ukraine that resulted in the identification of that country as a priority foreign country in USTR’s most recent Special 301 report. That designation, the first in 11 years, was based on Ukraine’s “persistent failure to meet its commitments to improve IPR protection, a severe deterioration of enforcement in the areas of government use of pirated software and piracy over the Internet, and the denial of fair and equitable market access through the authorization and operation of copyright collecting societies.” USTR has noted that when Ukraine was designated a PFC in the past it failed to address the grounds for that designation during the subsequent investigation and lost its eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences until those issues were addressed.
The section 301 investigation will include consultations with the government of Ukraine and an opportunity for public input. Interested persons have until July 31 to submit written comments and until June 27 to notify USTR of their intent to testify at a July 18 public hearing. A final determination in this investigation is expected no later than Nov. 30.