UPDATE 1-U.S. puts Russia on notice in first report on WTO compliance
(Adds background, detail)
WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - The United States, in first report on Russia's compliance with its World Trade Organization commitments, said on Wednesday it was closely watching Moscow for any violations that thwart U.S. exports to world's sixth-largest economy.
But in the report required by Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative's office did not announce any definite plans for litigation at the Geneva-based world trade body.
"USTR will continue to monitor Russia's implementation of its WTO commitments to ensure that U.S. stakeholders have the opportunity to benefit from Russia's membership in the WTO," Acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro said in a statement that accompanied the report.
Russia joined the WTO last August after more than 18 years of on-and-off negotiations on the terms of its entry.
To ensure U.S. companies would benefit from market-opening commitments that Russia was required to make, the U.S. Congress passed legislation in December establishing "permanent normal trade relations" by lifting a Cold War-era provision known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment. That amendment tied full trade relations with Moscow to the rights of Jews in the former Soviet Union to emigrate freely.
Lawmakers approved the bill after a debate marked by concern that Moscow would not honor commitments it made to open its market to more U.S. goods and services and to protect U.S. intellectual property rights.
To keep pressure on Moscow, Congress required the USTR to issue a report within six months on its efforts to ensure Russia abides by WTO rules and then to report annually.
This inaugural report lists actions the United States has taken to try to persuade Russia to lift certain import restrictions on U.S. meat.
It says the United States has also, along with other WTO members, "objected strenuously" to a motor vehicle recycling fee that appears to discriminate against foreign auto producers.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Jackie Frank)