Weekly Trade Focus: Jordan
This week's weekly trade focus is on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Last month Assistant United States Trade Representative Lewis Karesh traveled to Jordan as part of an interagency delegation to promote dialogue regarding relevant issues surrounding the United States Jordan Free Trade Agreement.
The United States and Jordan share a longstanding history of cooperation that stretches back forty years. America's relationship with Jordan is one that has proven to be mutually beneficial and is built upon America's strong interests in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.
On October 24, 2000, the United States signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Jordan that went into force on December 17, 2001. The FTA has gradually phased out tariffs on nearly all goods and services traded between the United States and Jordan and seeks the complete elimination of tariffs by 2010. Jordan is the fourth country in the world and first Arab state to have signed an FTA with the United States and is the first to include labor and environmental provisions as part of its core text. For Jordan, this free trade agreement represents a commitment towards a revolutionary economic reform program with the purpose of economic liberalization and deeper engagement with the world community as a whole. In addition to implementing a FTA with the United States, Jordan has acceded into the World Trade Organization.
The economic transformation of Jordan has proven to be strikingly successful for both Jordan and the United States. In 1998, total exports from Jordan to the United States totaled $16 million. Today America imports $1.1 billion of goods from Jordan as well as exports $940 million worth of goods. In the future, the United States looks forward to continuing to further our relationship with Jordan, knowing that it will bring tangible benefits to everyday Jordanians and Americans.