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  Jordan & the WTO

  Jordan & the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Member since April 11, 2000

In January 1994, Jordan applied for accession to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947), which became an application for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the establishment of the WTO in January 1995 in the Uruguay Round.

In 1996, Jordan submitted to the WTO its Memorandum on Foreign Trade Regime and thereafter received several rounds of questions from WTO Members on Jordanís economic policies and foreign trade regime, and engaged in three working party meetings during the two years to follow. Realizing the importance of joining the WTO before Seattle Ministerial Conference in December 1999, Jordan made a political commitment to conclude accession before then. To achieve such a goal in a record time, major economic and legislative reforms were made to bring the Jordanian foreign trade regime into conformity with WTO requirements.

Amendments were made to existing laws and several new laws were drafted especially in the field of intellectual property rights; amendments were made to the Trademarks and Copyrights laws, and new laws on Patents, Models and Industrial Design, Integrated Circuits, Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition, Geographical Indications, and Plant Variety Protection were enacted. In other areas, new laws were also enacted to replace existing laws that were not in conformity with WTO requirements such as the Law on Standards and Metrology; amendments were made to the Customs Law, General Sales Tax Law, and the Law on Unifying Fees and Taxes. New regulations on Safeguard of National Production, Non-Jordanian Investments, and Consular Fees were also enacted. The Parliament held two special sessions to pass quite a large number of amended and newly drafted laws.

In addition to enactment of the foregoing legislation and revision of its economic policies, Jordan made commitments to provide liberal access to foreign suppliers and investors on a wide range of services sectors. Tariff lines were lowered and bound to rates ranging from 0% to 30%, by the year 2010, the maximum bound rate for certain tariff lines will be 20%.

Jordan participated in three working party meetings on its accession during the year 1999 and engaged in intensive bilateral negotiations with 16 WTO member countries as well. The concentrated effort by both the government and Parliament played a critical role in expediting the accession process. On December 17 of the same year, The WTO General Council approved Jordanís Protocol of Accession, and the Jordanian Parliament ratified the Law on Jordanís Accession to the WTO on February 24, 2000. Jordan became officially the 136th WTO Member on April 11, 2000.

  • Click here to visit Jordanís page at the World Trade Organizationís website.

  • Click here to visit Jordan Foreign Trade Policy Department.

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