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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference

Dec 7, 2023

Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference
Wed, 12/06/2023 – 10:11

Export and investment promotion
Trade enforcement


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Office of Public Affairs

Good morning. Welcome to the members of the Ukrainian Government, U.S. and Ukrainian industry, as well as our guests from NATO. And thank you to the National Security Council, the Departments of Defense and State, and the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian men, women, and children. The Russian military has destroyed cities and towns, targeted schools, bombed hospitals, and relentlessly attacked critical infrastructure. Russia’s war has unleashed a global energy crisis, pushed grain prices to record highs, and displaced thousands of people from their homes.

The response of the Biden-Harris Administration to Russia’s further invasion has been immediate and unwavering. In the 22 months since Russia launched its unprovoked and brutal invasion, the U.S. has worked on numerous fronts to support Ukraine – from an unprecedented and coordinated set of export controls that are restricting Russia’s access to vital technological inputs, to financial and humanitarian assistance, as well as military equipment and technology that is bolstering Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.

At Commerce, we have created and sustained one of the most sweeping export controls and sanctions regimes ever imposed on a major economy, cutting Russia off from critical inputs and advanced technologies. Starved for microchips, the Russian military has been cannibalizing semiconductors from dishwashers, refrigerators, and even electric breast pumps in order to fix its military hardware. Internationally, Russia has turned to pariah states like North Korea and Iran to obtain artillery shells, rockets, and drones made with black market components – often lacking in quality and quantity to fully replace the military hardware it has lost.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, is continuing to tighten our restrictions and enforce penalties against those who enable Russia’s efforts to obtain restricted items. BIS has also helped to prioritize export licenses for urgently needed items for the Ukrainian defense forces. At the same time, the International Trade Administration, or ITA, continues connecting our companies with Ukrainian companies in need of goods or services, and earlier this year, extended the temporary suspension of tariffs on Ukrainian steel imports.

The U.S. business community has stepped up in support of Ukraine by providing emergency aid and services; donating funds and in-kind-support, including lifesaving medicine and medical devices; and harnessing industry expertise and know-how to assist Ukraine.

And in particular, the U.S. defense industry has a tremendous opportunity to continue playing a significant role in helping our Ukrainian allies defend their sovereignty and their people. Your fight is our fight, and your success on the battlefield is crucial for security in Europe and sends a message to authoritarians in Russia and around the world that the United States stands by its friends. So, thank you for being here today, and thank you for your commitment to helping ensure Ukraine has what it needs to prevail.

Ukraine has remained strong and tough in the face of Putin’s brutality, and America’s support must continue to match Ukraine’s resolve. We understand the importance of a resilient Ukrainian defense industrial base, which is why we are helping Ukraine leverage and expand its own considerable defense industrial capabilities. Our hope for today, tomorrow, and the weeks ahead is that U.S. and Ukrainian companies will communicate more closely on ideas for collaboration. The tremendous challenge you face is two-fold: defend Ukraine today and rebuild for tomorrow.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to host a discussion with Economic Development and Trade Minister Yulia Svyrydenko with U.S. insurance carriers, brokers and banks to share their expertise on Ukraine’s reconstruction and to reaffirm our enduring support for Ukraine in the long term. Those conversations will continue.

The United States is with you every step of the way. We stand with Ukraine today. We stand with Ukraine tomorrow. Slava Ukraini.

Bureaus and Offices

Bureau of Industry and Security
International Trade Administration


Gina M. Raimondo


Secretary Gina Raimondo
National Security

Read the full report from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Read More