The Hachemite Kingdom of Jordan signed a major free trade agreement with the United States in 2000, a strategic deal for the US. One of the most well documented impacts of that accord, however, has been the bad labour conditions suffered by migrant workers working in US factories there.
While the Jordanian government has tried to clean up its image in response to the criticisms from labour and human rights groups, it has also been sealing deals with other nations. It has free trade agreements with the EU, as part of the Barcelona proces, EFTA, Palestine and Syria. In 2004, it signed an FTA with Singapore and in 2008 with Canada (which has still to be ratified). In 2010 it signed a four-way deal with Syria, Turkey and Lebanon.
The government is currently negotiating with Iraq, Kazakhstan and Pakistan, and pushing for FTAs with Mercosur and Russia. Jordan is also member of the Agadir Agreement and GAFTA.
last update: May 2012
photo: DFID/CC BY 2.0
Jordan and Kazakhstan will consider starting talks on a free trade agreement when the joint technical committee from both countries holds two days of meetings starting Thursday.
Iraq and Jordan are in talks for a free-trade agreement to boost commercial ties between the countries.
Several agreements are in the pipeline to accelerate Jordan’s free trade drive and maximise the advantages of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs), Industry and Trade Minister Salem Khazaaleh said on Saturday.
The US Trade Representative has been urged by the largest US labor organization and textile group to file a complaint against Jordan for its failure to check companies from exploiting their laborers and subsequently cheating them on wages. Since the US-Jordan FTA was signed between the two nations in December 2001, this is the first time any US business group has come together with labor demanding action under the treaty.
Jordan and Iraq are in the final stages of discussions over the signing of a free trade agreement.
Jordan and Turkey on Wednesday concluded the fourth round of talks on free trade agreement.
The US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement is not meeting its full potential and worker rights in Jordan continue to be violated as a result, say experts from both nations.
Relations among countries are normally defined by bilateral or multilateral agreements, especially when it comes to trade under reciprocal facilitation. The purpose, of course, is to maximise benefits. In order for such agreements to be sound and sustainable, they must be balanced and serve the best interests of both sides, otherwise the party at disadvantage will find a way to obstruct the implementation of the agreement and finally yield to pressure and revoke the agreement altogether.
President of Jordan Exporters Association Ayman Hatahet said a US company will implement, in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, a project to promote the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between Jordan and the US.
His Majesty King Abdullah will meet today with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on ways to develop bilateral ties, particularly in the economic fields.