The Egyptian government delegation accompanying President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on his current visit to Washington held talks on Tuesday with US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross over reducing the Israeli component in the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) trade agreement to 8% instead of the current 10.5%, which would be similar to Jordan, according to the Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil.
Under the terms of the QIZ trade agreement, some Egyptian products with Israeli components from designated industrial zones can be exported to the US duty free.
The Egyptian delegation included Kabil as well as Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy.
Kabil said that the meeting focused on the expansion of trade exchange between the Egyptian and the US economy. “It is important to turn both administrations’ willingness to develop bilateral economic cooperation into joint projects that contribute to increasing economic growth in both countries,” Kabil said.
The two sides agreed on the elimination of any obstacles for trade exchange between the two countries, as well as increasing US presence in the Egyptian market through trade and investment missions.
Kabil added that Wilbur Ross agreed on holding a new round of negotiations over the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) in the coming period. This agreement would increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries.
The meeting furthermore focused on the facilitation of exports of Egyptian citrus to the US market, while they also discussed the possibility of new agricultural exports to the United States, including green beans, mangoes, and peppers.
The Egyptian delegation demanded the American side reconsider the decision taken by Walt Disney Corporation to prevent Egyptian companies from using its brand.
Ross stressed his country’s keenness on strengthening the strategic partnership with Egypt in various fields, especially in light of the strong ties between the two countries. He expressed his willingness to resume talks over TIFA as well as more bilateral agreements, which would contribute to increasing trade exchange and investment between the two sides.
Ross demanded Egypt facilitate the participation of US companies in tenders announced by the Egyptian government, noting that such steps would encourage US companies to increase their work in the Egyptian market in the coming period.