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U.S. Links Piracy to Russia’s WTO Bid

WASHINGTON — Russia must improve efforts to stop piracy and counterfeiting of U.S. music, movies and other goods to achieve its long-term goal of joining the World Trade Organization, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

“We have made clear to the Russian government repeatedly that intellectual property enforcement has to be strengthened in order for them to enter the WTO,” Victoria Espinel, U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

A few weeks ago, Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev pledged to resolve issues blocking Russia’s WTO accession by the end of September.

Espinel told committee members that she wanted to allay any concerns that pledge giving Moscow a free pass on intellectual property enforcement and said U.S. trade officials would be traveling to Russia to discuss the issue.

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