U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Jordan's Foreign Minister Salah Al-Bashir signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, September 22 to provide increased levels of assistance to Jordan.
To help meet shared goals of enhanced dialogue and increased military cooperation, the MOU outlines the United States' support for providing the government of Jordan, from 2010 to 2014, $360 million per year in Economic Support Funds and $300 million per year in Foreign Military Financing. This commitment is subject to the appropriation and availability of funds for these purposes.
This Memorandum of Understanding is a step forward in the already strong relationship between the U.S. and Jordan. It reinforces the commitment of both countries to work together on a range of important issues – including advancing security and stability in the region and encouraging economic development and political reform.
It makes clear the intent of the U.S. and Jordan to establish a bilateral economic framework and continue active dialogue on security, economic policy, and political reform, in accordance with the priorities established in Jordan's National Agenda.
U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Stephen Beecroft recently reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promoting Jordanian-U.S. trade. Speaking to a forum in Amman sponsored by TIJARA, a coalition of 16 business associations and officials from Jordan's Ministry of Industry and Trade, the ambassador pledged his efforts to increasing bilateral trade as a means of spurring economic growth. The TIJARA coalition is a public-private partnership dedicated to implementing the Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Founded in 2001, TIJARA was created with the vision that "Jordan shall become a premier center for United States trade and investment in the Middle East, and an efficient gateway to the United States market."
The coalition recently developed a new strategy to substantially increase levels of trade, in part by providing Jordanian companies with practical export-import services, funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
During the policy forum, coalition members explored ways to enhance the exchange of business know-how in areas such as market research, customs, and product distribution in the U.S. Total bilateral trade in 2007 amounted to over $2,190,000,000, a 5.7 percent increase over the previous year. Trade during the first 6 months of 2008 has reached $987,000,000 dollars.
The U.S. looks forward to deepening its long-standing partnership with Jordan.