Following are information and links to websites on U.S. Government Middle East initiatives and activities related to trade and investment.
U.S. Department of State
The United States supports reformers and their efforts to extend freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI works with civil society organizations and governments to create open and active linkages that are fundamental to democratic reform..
Office of the United States Trade Representative
In May 2003, the U.S. proposed the Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative (MEFTA) initiative, a plan of graduated steps for Middle Eastern nations to increase trade and investment with the United States and with others in the world economy, with the eventual goal of a regional free trade agreement.
United States Agency for International Development
Trade capacity building is a growing priority in USAID. It is supporting an increasing number of bilateral agreements, continuing ongoing support for WTO implementation and preparation for the Cancun Ministerial, and supporting the development agenda through behind-the-border and beyond-the-border activities. Nearly 30% of USAID trade capacity funding is in the Arab world -- $140 million in FY 2002. Examples of ongoing and new USAID trade capacity building programs in the Arab world are: Morocco Free Trade Agreement and planned support for promoting tourism and related job creation in rural areas, Customs Reform and Trade Facilitation in Egypt, WTO and free trade agreement (FTA) implementation (e.g., introducing ASYCUDA to customs) and support for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone in Jordan, WTO awareness in Lebanon, promoting industrial estates and investment mobilization in West Bank/Gaza, and a proposed economic governance program that includes a component to re-integrate Iraq into the global economy.
Department of Commerce
The Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (IIRTF) of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information and counseling to companies pursuing business opportunities in Iraq.