Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - January 15, 2001 - Message to the Congress transmitting proposed legislation to implement the Jordan-United States Free Trade Agreement

Monday, January 15, 2001


Volume 37, Issue 2; ISSN: 0511-4187


Message to the Congress transmitting proposed legislation to implement the

Jordan-United States Free Trade Agreement

William J Clinton



� Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation To

Implement the Jordan-United States Free Trade Agreement



� January 6, 2001



� To the Congress of the United States:



� I am pleased to transmit a legislative proposal to implement the

Agreement between the United States of America and the Hashemite

Kingdom of Jordan on the Establishment of a Free Trade Area. Also

transmitted is a section-by-section analysis.



� The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides critical

support for a pivotal regional partner for U.S. efforts in the

Middle East peace process. Jordan has taken extraordinary steps on

behalf of peace and has served as a moderating and progressive force

in the region. This Agreement not only sends a strong and concrete

message to Jordanians and Jordan's neighbors about the economic

benefits of peace, but significantly contributes to stability

throughout the region. This Agreement is the capstone of our

economic partnership with Jordan, which has also included

U.S.-Jordanian cooperation on Jordan's accession to the World Trade

Organization (WTO), our joint Trade and Investment Framework

Agreement, and our Bilateral Investment Treaty. This Agreement is a

vote of confidence in Jordan's economic reform program, which should

serve as a source of growth and opportunity for Jordanians in the

coming years.



� The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement achieves the highest possible

commitments from Jordan on behalf of U.S. business on key trade

issues, providing significant and extensive liberalization across a

wide spectrum of trade issues. For example, it will eliminate all

tariffs on industrial goods and agricultural products within 10

years. The FTA covers all agriculture without exception. The

Agreement will also eliminate commercial barriers to bilateral trade

in services originating in the United States and Jordan. Specific

liberalization has been achieved in many key services sectors,

including energy distribution, convention, printing and publishing,

courier, audiovisual, education, environmental, financial, health,

tourism, and transport services.



� In the area of intellectual property rights, the U.S.-Jordan Free

Trade Agreement builds on the strong commitments Jordan made in

acceding to the WTO. The provisions of the FTA incorporate the most

upto-date international standards for copyright protection, as well

as protection for confidential test data for pharmaceuticals and

agricultural chemicals and stepped-up commitments on enforcement.

Among other things, Jordan has undertaken to ratify and implement

the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Copyright

Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty within 2 years.



� The FTA also includes, for the first time ever in the text of a

trade agreement, a set of substantive provisions on electronic

commerce. Both countries agreed to seek to avoid imposing customs

duties on electronic transmissions, imposing unnecessary barriers to

market access for digitized products, and impeding the ability to

deliver services through electronic means. These provisions also tie

in with commitments in the services area that, taken together, aim

at encouraging investment in new technologies and stimulating the

innovative uses of networks to deliver products and services.



� The FTA joins free trade and open markets with civic

responsibilities. In this Agreement, the United States and Jordan

affirm the importance of not relaxing labor or environmental laws in

order to increase trade. It is important to note that the FTA does

not require either country to adopt any new laws in these areas, but

rather includes commitments that each country enforce its own labor

and environmental laws.



� The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement will help advance the

long-term U.S. objective of fostering greater Middle East regional

economic integration in support of the establishment of a just,

comprehensive, and lasting peace, while providing greater market

access for U.S. goods, services, and investment. I urge the prompt

and favorable consideration of this legislation.



� William J. Clinton



� The White House, January 6,2001.





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