December 3-6, 2018,
Washington DC, US Department of Agriculture
Study tour to the US to Build Up Ukraine SPS Transparency.
On December 3-6, 2018 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kyiv-based company BRIDGES hosted a group of both public and private sector officials to learn how U.S. trade associations engage with US government agencies, specifically to address comments on draft SPS measures to be notified to the WTO. The event was entitled "The Role of Trade Associations in Engaging Government and Promote Members Interests via SPS Transparency Disciplines."
USDA Administrator Ken Isley offered introductory remarks and shared his special perspective with the Ukrainians from his current position in USDA leadership and from his 30-year career in agriculture industry where he applied his knowledge of agriculture and his training as a lawyer.

Interactive 4-day training with US trade practitioners: The Ukrainians were encouraged to network and discuss among them on the state of their country's Enquiry Point office while learning about the U.S. system. A total of 15 speakers joined the Ukrainians representing different agencies within USDA.
Engagement with Industry: Presentations and case studies illustrated the way the U.S. trade associations engage with U.S. government agencies to address comments on draft SPS measures to be notified to the WTO and how these actions promote the association members' interests and trade objectives. They also helped study tour participants to better understand how the solicitation of comments from the public help to change the original proposals into more effective technical regulations.

The study tour resulted in better understanding of the U.S. SPS system, which is based on an inclusive rulemaking process, where public comments from stakeholders are taken into account and science-based data collection drives the risks assessment process.

As one of the Ukrainian participants summarized: "A seed has been planted thanks to this study tour: let's not reinvent the wheel; let's use the tools in the WTO toolbox and build an inter-agency dialogue back home – between SPS agencies and business associations on the good model that the US has shown us during our visit."