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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Announces New Opportunities for Egypt – Israel Qualifying Industrial Zone Program

03/03/2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that he has decided to liberalize the designation of the existing Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs) in Egypt to make all production facilities, present and future, located in these zones potentially eligible to export goods duty-free to the United States. Liberalizing the current designation in this manner will increase opportunities for trade, investment and production – and therefore jobs – in the existing six QIZs, which include the Greater Cairo, the Alexandria, the Suez Canal, the Central Delta, the Beni Suief and the Al Minya zones. The modification will be effective when published in the Federal Register.

“Qualifying Industrial Zones have helped to dramatically increase trade between Egypt and Israel, demonstrating to other countries throughout the region the practical benefits of peace, cooperation and economic integration,” Ambassador Kirk said. “Egypt's and Israel's desire to add new features to their joint QIZ program underscores the success of the program in fostering closer ties between the people, businesses and governments of these two countries.”

The United States is committed to strengthening trade relations with partners in the Middle East and to supporting opportunities for job creation and investment. Since the first year of exports under the QIZ program, total trade between Israel and Egypt under the program has grown by more than $100 million.

BACKGROUND

In 1996, Congress authorized the President to designate areas, known as Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), from which Egypt or Jordan can export products to the United States duty-free, as long as these products contain inputs from Israel. The President delegated the authority to designate QIZs to the U.S. Trade Representative.