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NFTC Endorses Proposed U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area
Date: 5/12/2003

Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council today endorsed President Bush's call for a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area.


"We applaud the vision of the Bush Administration in its call for a Middle East Free Trade Area," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. "Clearly there will be significant hurdles to overcome, but we believe that in the long-term, this is the right thing to do. If successful, increased trade will lift the region's economy, greatly improve U.S. relations with many Arab nations, and would be a positive development for U.S. business and workers."

The Bush proposal foresees a 10-year effort in which the pact would be negotiated. Currently, the U.S. has a free trade agreement with Israel and Jordan, and is well under way in negotiating the proposed U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. The NFTC serves as the co-Secretariat of the U.S.-Morocco FTA Coalition and has been a major champion of concluding a U.S.-Morocco FTA by the end of the year. The NFTC also supports the negotiation of additional FTAs with Egypt and other countries throughout the region.

"The recently enacted Jordan FTA has already achieved some very positive results, and has certainly helped solidify a strong U.S.- Jordanian relationship. It is reasonable to believe that improving economic ties with other Middle Eastern nations can help produce the same results," Reinsch concluded.


 

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves 350 member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.