Middle East Trade and Engagement Act of 2003

May 22, 2003
May 22, 2003
Referred to Senate (sub)committee

5 cosponsors.

“To extend certain trade benefits to countries of the greater Middle East.” Eligibility requirements include countries that adhere to the following 17 conditions: are or are becoming members of the World Trade Organization; have or will have market-based economies; protect private property and intellectual property rights; adhere to the rule of law and the right to due process; conduct fair trials and afford equal protection under the law; political pluralism; elimination of barriers to trade with and investment from the U.S.; economic policies that reduce poverty, increase availability of health care and education; promote private enterprise and the promotion of capital markets; a system to combat corruption and bribery; protection of workers’ rights; policies that protect the environment; does not try to undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests in the region and “supports a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict”; is a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights; is not a state sponsor of terror and cooperates fully to combat terror; does not participate in the Arab boycott of Israel in any way. The PA can be eligible if it adheres to all the foregoing criteria and “accepts Israel’s right to exist in peace within secure borders.” Includes Israel as a country eligible for consideration under this agreement and states as a matter of policy that the president should conduct annual high level meetings with officials from eligible countries to foster close economic relations between the U.S. and certain Middle Eastern nations as well as economic relations between the Middle Eastern nations themselves. These meetings should occur in the private and NGO sectors as well, both between the U.S. and the listed Middle Eastern nations and between the Middle Eastern nations themselves. Nothing in this agreement will effect the existing U.S.-Israel and U.S.-Jordan free trade agreements. Allows for duty free exports to the U.S. The agreement would end on 12/31/2001.

See also: companion measures H.R. 2267 on 5/22/03 and H.R. 2467 on 6/12/03.

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