APS : Friday, 11 March 2016
WASHINGTON – The fourth meeting of the Algerian-US discussions on the Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment (TIFA) opened Friday in Washington.
The discussions which are held in camera at the headquarters of the US State Department focus on boosting trade and investment between the two countries. The bulk of their economic relations are energy.
For Algeria, the aim is to evaluate the bilateral trade, which declined due to lower US imports in gas and oil.
There also will be a request on the renewal of the generalized system of preferences that the United States unilaterally granted to developing countries to help them place their products on the US market with advantageous customs tariffs.
This is the very goal of these discussions: diversify trade by helping Algeria to export its products, particularly food to that country.
The renewal of the tariff system, of which Algeria benefited in 2004 but never used, however would need the US Congress approval to come into force.
Emphasis will also be placed on the question of Algeria’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which negotiates bilateral agreement with the United States.
The United States is expected to reiterate commitment to support Algeria in its WTO accession process.
The development of agriculture will also be discussed, as Algeria wants to take advantage of the US technical assistance in this area.
In this regard, the Algerian party will reaffirm once again its commitment to plant health standards and to defend the ban on imports of the American genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“There is no question of dropping the ban,” member of the Algerian delegation told APS.
Moreover, business climate improvement in Algeria is one of the main points of the negotiations, which will constitute an opportunity for the Algerian party to explain the recently set up investment incentives and answer the recurring questions of Americans about the so-called 51/49 rule governing foreign investment.
The one-day discussions are led by Algerian officials from the Ministries of Industry and Mines, Trade and Foreign Affairs and the Office of US Trade Representative (USTR), part of the executive branch of the US federal government in charge of trade policy at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
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