In April 1997, Egyptian President Mubarak and U.S. Vice President Gore agreed to explore the possibility of creating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Egypt and the United States. The very idea of such an agreement has been met by controversy and skepticism from critics in both countries. The authors of this book, however, believe that the case for considering an FTA between the U.S. and Egypt rests on solid economic and political grounds. An agreement could help promote Egyptian economic reform and growth, while providing substantial economic benefits to the U.S. Politically, it could strengthen American ties with an ally who plays a crucial role in helping to achieve peace in the region and in maintaining a stable supply of oil in the Middle East.
This book offers U.S. and Egyptian policymakers answers to such pertinent questions as: What form should an FTA agreement take? Should it concentrate on border barriers or cover other aspects such as investments and services? What are the likely implications for both countries? And how will such an agreement affect the rest of the region? Its conclusions will be relevant to policymakers elsewhere in their pursuit of similar regional trade agreements.
Copublished with the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies
Gary Burtless, Robert Z. Lawrence, Robert E. Litan, Robert J. Shapiro
February 1, 1998
Ahmed Galal is Private Sector Development Adviser at the World Bank and a member of the Board of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies. Robert Z. Lawrence is Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment at the Kennedy School of Government. He is also a senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1998 to 2000. Lawrence has also been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His books include Globaphobia: Confronting Fears about Open Trade (Brookings, 1998) and Single World, Divided Nations? International Trade and the OECD Labor Markets (Brookings/OECD, 1996).