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February 3, 2000 
Contact: Curt Cultice or Arlene Mayeda
202-482-3809

U.S. Consumer Goods Gain Greater Access to Egyptian Market

Commerce Department Efforts Encourage Egyptian Government to Relax Import Restrictions

Washington, D.C. Ambassador David L. Aaron today welcomed the recent announcement from Egyptian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Yousef Boutros Ghali that Egypt's Decree 619 has been amended to end an unfair restriction on imports. Decree 619 prohibited importation of consumer goods unless they were shipped directly from the country of origin. 

The revised provision will give U.S. and foreign firms greater access to Egyptian markets for goods such as computers, computer peripherals, software, telecom equipment, and toys. 

"Many U.S. companies have complained of trade losses by this decree," Aaron said. "We are pleased that Egypt has taken action to permit companies greater flexibility in exporting products to Egypt." 

"Washington appreciates that Cairo's decision to amend Decree 619 reflects Egyptian analysis that the original decree actually resulted in reduced trade," Aaron noted..

The Department of Commerce and USTR had raised compliance concerns that Egypt's open market was actually closing by the 619 measure. Secretary Daley bolstered these efforts during his trade mission to Cairo in October 1999. 

U.S. firms will now be permitted to ship their products to Egypt from the country of origin, or the main headquarters of the producing countries, or their divisions or distribution centers. The Department of Commerce will continue to monitor this amended decree and its implementation consistent with Egypt's international obligations.
 


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