Commentary: President Bush signed the U.S. – Jordan FTA implementing legislation on September 28, 2001. It was the fourth FTA, after Israel, Canada (rolled into NAFTA), and NAFTA, signed by the United States, and the first ever with an Arab state. It will eliminate tariffs on virtually all trade between the United States and Jordan within ten years, and is the first FTA to include provisions on environment, labor, and electronic commerce.
Overall Trade in Goods between the United States and Jordan grew from $728 million in 2000 to $1.91 billion in 2005, an increase of 162%.
U.S. exports to Jordan grew from $316.6 million in 2000 to $643 million in 2005, an increase of 103%. U.S. exports to Jordan in 2004 were $495 million.
U.S. imports from Jordan grew from $73 million in 2000 to $1.2 billion in 2005, an increase of 1,543%. U.S. imports from Jordan in 2004 were $ 994 million.
Note: Most of the U.S. imports from Jordan come from Qualified Industrial Zones, which pre-date the FTA and allow for duty free access into the United States as long as there is Israeli input into those products.
In 2005, Jordan was our 54th largest trading partner (exports and imports combined).
Investment: The United States has a bilateral investment treaty with Jordan. The FTA, therefore, does not include an investment chapter. U.S. FDI into Jordan in 2004 was $54 million.
Services: The FTA opened up trade in services, giving American service providers excellent opportunities in Jordan’s financial, education, audio-visual, courier, and other services.
Government Procurement: Jordan applied to accede to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement on July 12, 2000. The FTA notes that Jordan and the United States will enter into negotiations with regard to Jordan accession to the GPA. Jordan has not yet completed its accession to the GPA.
IPR: In the FTA, IPR commitments constitute 29 paragraphs, or one-quarter of the entire document. However, although Jordan has revised its IPR laws and had been a leader on IPR protection in the region, the laws and regulations underpinning IPR protection lack coherence, and lead to sub-optimal and ad-hoc solutions to commonly recognized IPR protection problems. Jordan was accorded a transition period until December 2004 before being required to fully implement FTA IPR provisions, but has not yet done so. Jordan must still meet all its commitments on patents, trademarks, copyright, plant varieties, and special measures on pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemical products.
Prepared by the International Trade Administration
Market Access and Compliance; Summer 2006