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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Announces Agreements Between the United States and Jordan to Boost Investment and Economic Growth, Enhance Labor Cooperation

01/28/2012

Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced that the United States and the Kingdom of Jordan agreed to a set of Joint Principles for International Investment, as well as Joint Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services. Both sides also agreed to a new initiative aimed at promoting labor rights and improving working conditions in Jordan. These agreements mark significant advancement in our shared effort to promote economic growth and trade between our two countries and throughout the broader Middle East and North Africa region.

"Jordan is a key strategic bilateral trade and investment partner to the United States and plays a pivotal role in the Obama Administration's trade and investment partnership initiative with the Middle East and North Africa," said Ambassador Kirk. “These achievements remain key to advancing our countries’ common agenda for jobs and economic growth."

Jordan is currently the United States’ 77th largest goods trading partner with two-way goods trade totaling $2.5 billion last year, up 17 percent from 2010. U.S. goods exports totaled $1.5 billion in 2011 and U.S. goods imports totaled $1.1 billion. U.S. foreign direct investment in Jordan was $145 million in 2011, up 46.5 percent from 2010.

Building on ongoing efforts to promote trade and investment, the Joint Principles for International Investment are a statement of the United States’ and Jordan’s continuing commitment to adopt and maintain a policy environment that enables and encourages international investment, in view of the many economic benefits that such investment produces. They include an open and non-discriminatory investment regime, strong protection for foreign investment, transparency and public participation in the development of laws and regulations, and a level competitive playing field.

In addition, the endorsement of the Joint Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services demonstrates both countries’ shared commitment to a sector that is having a transformative effect on the global economy. Adoption of the ICT Principles will support the global development of ICT services, including Internet and other network-based applications that are critical to innovative e-commerce. The Principles address issues such as the free flow of information across borders; facilitating the cross-border supply of services; and foreign investment in ICT sectors.

In the area of labor rights, the United States and Jordan concluded an Implementation Plan Related to Working and Living Conditions of Workers. The Implementation Plan reaffirms Jordan’s commitment to protect internationally recognized labor rights and effectively enforce its labor laws. The United States and Jordan will follow-up on the provisions of the plan in the coming months, including through cooperative efforts and ongoing dialogue as part of the Labor Subcommittee established under the United States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.