Tuesday, March 5, 2013

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Announces New Opportunities for Egypt – Israel Qualifying Industrial Zone Program

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced Sunday that he has decided to liberalize the designation of the existing Qualifying Industrial Zones ("QIZs") in Egypt to make all production facilities, present and future, located in these zones potentially eligible to export goods duty-free to the United States. Liberalizing the current designation in this manner will increase opportunities for trade, investment and production – and therefore jobs – in the existing six QIZs, which include the Greater Cairo, the Alexandria, the Suez Canal, the Central Delta, the Beni Suief and the Al Minya zones. The modification will be effective when published in the Federal Register.

In 1996, Congress authorized the President to designate areas, known as Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), from which Egypt or Jordan can export products to the United States duty-free, as long as these products contain inputs from Israel. The President delegated the authority to designate QIZs to the U.S. Trade Representative.

In order for a QIZ article to gain duty-free entry, QIZ factories must add at least 35 percent to the value of the article. This 35 percent minimum content figure can include value added in Israel, Egypt, or the United States. QIZs must encompass portions of Egypt and Israel, though the areas do not have to be contiguous.

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