February 3, 2000
Contact: Curt Cultice or Arlene Mayeda
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
"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.