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Hindawi asks US to reduce customs tariffs under FTA - Jordan

Jordan Times

Hindawi asks US to reduce customs tariffs under FTA - Jordan

6 April 2005

AMMAN - A senior US trade official and the Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmad Hindawi held talks Tuesday on "reinforcing and further-developing economic and trade relations between both countries."

Held on the sidelines of the Rebuild Iraq 2005 exhibition, the meeting between Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance and Chairman of the US Iraq Reconstruction Task Force at the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration William Lash and Hindawi focused on "finding ways to increase the volume of trade exchange."

Last year, Jordanian exports to the US reached $1.14 billion in comparison with $704.6 million recorded in 2003, according to Jordanian figures. Qualifying Industrial Zones’ exports alone to the US reached $974.9 million during 2004.

Hindawi stressed the need to "reduce customs duties on several Jordanian commodities so that they be exported to the US tariff-free under the Jordan-US Free-Trade Area Agreement [FTA]," which was signed five years ago.

As of the beginning of 2005, the agreement allows duty-free export of 97 per cent of Jordanian-made commodities to the US. The FTA gradually eliminates tariffs on virtually all trade between the two countries over a ten-year period, starting in 2001.

A press release provided by the ministry said Lash said the possibility of accelerating customs duties reductions is being "seriously considered" by US officials.

"Lash stressed that the FTA provides an opportunity for businessmen of both countries to contribute to enhancing trade exchange," according to the statement.