The Bush administration has lifted stiff trade sanctions against the Ukraine after the country approved new laws designed to get tough on copyright pirates.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- The Bush administration has lifted stiff trade sanctions against the Ukraine after the country approved new laws designed to get tough on copyright pirates.

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman on Aug. 31 announced the lifting of 100% tariff sanctions that since 2002 had been imposed on $75 million worth of Ukrainian exports to the United States.

In July, the Ukrainian Rada adopted a set of amendments to Ukraine's Laser-Readable Disk Law. These amendments, which went into force Aug. 2, will strengthen Ukraine's licensing regime and enforcement efforts to stem the illegal production and trade of CDs and DVDs, according to a release by the USTR.

"I commend Ukrainian President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko for their personal involvement in securing passage of these amendments, which is expected to improve Ukraine's protection of intellectual property rights," Portman said. "This recent legislative action by Ukraine is a key step in the right direction. We expect that Ukraine will use the tools created by these amendments to crack down on illegal pirating of protected works."

As a further step, the administration is conducting a special review to focus on Ukraine's copyright enforcement and consider Ukraine's status as a country eligible for special trade treatment.