Egypt starts talks to adjust its trade treaties with US and Israel

Egypt will start Tuesday its official talks to adjust both Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the U.S. the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) treaty.

An official delegation from the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry is currently visiting the United States to discuss adjusting the TIFA and reducing the required Israeli component in products exported under QIZ treaty.

In July 1999, Egypt and the United States signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as a preliminary step towards a free trade agreement between the two countries. Proceeding in that same direction, the U.S. announced the formation of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs) in Egypt on December 10, 2004.

Signed in late 2004, the QIZ agreement granted Egyptian clothing manufacturers zero-tariff access to the US market as long as their products contained at least 10.5 percent Israeli input.

Trade Minister Plenipotentiary of Egyptian Commercial Services Ali El-Leithi told Amwal Al Ghad Tuesday that the delegation involves representatives of the ministry’s Commercial Agreement Sector, QIZ unit, and General Authority for the Control of Exports and Imports (GOEIC).

The meetings will tackle Egypt’s request to reduce the Israeli input to 8 percent, from 10.5 percent, El-Leithi added.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian ministry rebutted news reports that said that Israel agreed to reduce the input to 9 percent as part of the deal for the release of an Israeli man from Egyptian prison last month.