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U.S., Ukraine agree to launch talks to upgrade 2008 trade accord

FILE PHOTO: Katherine C. Tai testifies before Senate Finance Committee in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Ukraine announced on Wednesday that they will launch negotiations to upgrade a bilateral 2008 trade and investment accord to support Ukraine’s efforts to establish a more transparent and predictable business environment.

In a joint statement issued after the 11th meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council, the two countries said they would work to improve the underlying 2008 Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement.

In opening remarks, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai urged the delegations "to work together to create an environment that encourages companies and individuals to live, work, and invest in Ukraine," the statement said, underscoring the importance of predictability, transparency and the rule of law.

U.S.-Ukraine bilateral trade in 2021 totaled about $4.4 billion.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler)