US embassy cable - 02AMMAN2819

JORDAN ASKS FOR VIEWS ON FTA MEETINGS

Identifier: 02AMMAN2819
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN2819 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-05-30 15:42:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ETRD EINV JO OPIC
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS AMMAN 002819 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
USTR FOR NOVELLI/SAUMS 
CUSTOMS FOR CRAIG WALKER, FARAH NAIM, LEON HAYWARD 
USDOC/4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/PTHANOS 
OPIC FOR ABED TARBUSH 
PASS EXIMBANK 
TREASURY FOR PIPATANAGUL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD, EINV, JO, OPIC 
SUBJECT: JORDAN ASKS FOR VIEWS ON FTA MEETINGS 
 
 
This is an action request.  Please see paragraph 6. 
 
1.  (sbu)  Majed Hammoudeh, the director of the Foreign Trade 
Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Industry and Trade 
(MOIT), called to broach the subject of bilateral meetings 
foreseen by the Free Trade Agreement. 
 
------------------------- 
Rules of Origin Committee 
------------------------- 
 
2.  (sbu)  According to the FTA, an initial meeting of the 
"Rules of Origin Committee" should be held within six months 
of entry into force of the agreement, i.e. by June 17, 2002. 
Hammoudeh said MOIT Minister Salah al-Bashir is inclined to 
offer to host a meeting in Amman.  The Jordanian delegation 
would be led by MOIT Secretary General Samer al-Tawil and 
would include senior officials of the Customs Directorate. 
In addition to broader rules of origin issues, the Jordanians 
would like to use the meeting to enhance practical 
cooperation between Jordanian and U.S. Customs.  (Septel will 
provide more background on customs implementation issues that 
have come up since December.) 
 
---------------- 
Joint Commission 
---------------- 
 
3.  (sbu)  Al-Bashir is also inclined to propose that the 
first annual meeting of the "Joint Commission" be held in 
Amman during the month of September.  He would like to build 
around the official meetings a major event (such as a 
conference or seminar) highlighting bilateral trade and 
investment opportunities.  He foresaw inviting U.S. 
businesspeople, perhaps as a formal trade and investment 
mission, to attend this event. 
 
-------------------------- 
Comment and Action Request 
-------------------------- 
 
4.  (sbu)  In post's view, a meeting of the Joint Commission 
could be effectively structured either in Washington or Amman 
depending on the availability of the appropriate U.S. 
officials.  We think it would be most useful to use a meeting 
as a vehicle for public/private sector side events like the 
one broached by al-Bashir.  If the Joint Commission were to 
meet in the U.S., for example, various other Jordanians have 
suggested using it as a hook for a high-level Jordanian trade 
and investment mission.  In either case, a substantial amount 
of preparation -- and hence lead-time -- would be needed on 
the Jordanian side to make side events work.  We would 
encourage participation in side events in Jordan or the 
United States by U.S. agencies with trade and investment 
mandates, including Commerce, State, Customs, EXIM, TDA and 
OPIC. 
 
5.  (sbu)  As for the Rules of Origin meeting, we suspect 
that it could be held on the margins of the Joint Committee 
meeting (or by video conference if it is important to meet 
before the June 17 date).  Hammoudeh suggested that the 
format and timing of a meeting would depend on how difficult 
or complex the agenda items would be. 
 
6.  (sbu)  Action Request:  Hammoudeh said MOIT would 
appreciate informal guidance on how best to pursue these 
issues with the U.S. government.  He said al-Bashir would 
then be prepared to write to USTR or to the Ambassador with a 
formal proposal.  Per the Jordanian request, we would 
appreciate receiving, ideally before June 15, points that we 
could use with Hammoudeh and the Minister. 
Gnehm 

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