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USTDA Grant Supports Railway Component Standards Harmonization in Russia

New York, Sep 07, 2005

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced that it has awarded a $291,664 grant to the Russian Federal Agency of Railway Transport to fund technical assistance to facilitate the harmonization of selected U.S. and Russian railroad car and component standards. Harmonization of standards would allow U.S. manufacturers interested in selling their components in Russia to have their products tested and certified by the Transportation Technology Center, which is owned by the Federal Railroad Administration and operated and maintained by the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads. The grant was conferred at a signing ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.

The grant is part of the USTDA Sector Development Technical Assistance program, which provides technical assistance to help with the development of sector strategies, industry standards, and legal and regulatory regimes. This technical assistance will benefit U.S. companies by eliminating the need for expensive and time-consuming testing and certification of their products in Russia. The Russian railway system will benefit by gaining additional technology options and additional sources of supply as they revitalize the Russian railcar fleet.

In May 2001, Russia's government launched a program to fundamentally reform its railway system over the next decade, including separating the ownership function from the regulatory function. Rail is critical to the Russian economy, providing vital transportation across the country: 80% of all freight and 40% of passenger travel is carried by rail.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. While the agency's activities span a wide variety of sectors, many focus on transportation, energy and power, water and the environment, health care, mining and natural resources, telecommunications, and information technology. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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