Ukraine asks the US to cancel anti-dumping duties for Ukrainian metallurgy and chemical products. Reuters reports that this request was expressed by First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Valerii Khoroshkovsky at the meeting with the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
According to the State Statistics Committee, last year Ukraine sold the US products worth 1.1 billion dollars and imported twice that much – products worth 2.6 billion dollars. Khoroshkovsky said that in 2011 the trade turnover between the two countries was “ridiculously small” – 3.6 billion dollars, which equals about a half of trade turnover between Ukraine and Belarus.
Attempts of the first deputy prime minister to find new markets for Ukrainian metal and chemical products should improve the economic welfare of the country. According to Khoroshkovsky, opening US market will help Ukraine earn a billion dollars. With the trade balance constantly decreasing, there is a great need for additional hard-currency receipts.
If the US agrees to this, some of the Ukrainian oligarchs related to power circles will also benefit. Among such oligarchs there are billionaire-metallurgist Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, and “chemical” tycoon Dmytro Firtash. They represent Ukraine in the world list of the richest people. The Day asked Viktor SUSLOV, former Minister of Economy, to evaluate this initiative:
“Khoroshkovsky’s initiative is reasonable and reflects the current situation. After all, the main problem of Ukraine today is decrease of the trade balance. According to the information posted on the NBU website, in June 2012 compared to 2011 export of metal products (main industry that brings foreign currency into the country) fell by 21 percent. Sales in chemistry products decrease as well. Therefore, the attempts of the government to find new export horizons for metallurgists and chemists are justified. If the US would cancel export restrictions, Ukrainian products could compete on equal footing in terms of quality. Earlier, the US set limits for metallurgical and chemical products due to low prices for natural gas used by manufacturers. But in recent years the price of the gas imported from Russia increased by over 200 percent. Thus, there are no longer any economic reasons for further implementation of restrictions for our metallurgical and chemical manufacturers on the US market. However, it is unlikely that these restrictions will be abolished. US pursues a policy of protectionism protecting the interests of its metallurgists and limiting import. Despite this, Ukraine needs to press its point because access to the US market will help reduce the negative balance of trade. In 2011 it has been estimated to be nine billion dollars.”