Working Papers

Towards an Egypt-US Free Trade Agreement: An Egyptian Perspective

Publication Number: ECES WP 21-E

January, 1998

Author : Ahmed Galal and Sahar Tohamy

Type : Working Papers

This paper examines an Egypt-U.S. FTA from Egyptian perspective. It explores the choices facing negotiators and the probable implications of the most likely FTA scenario for Egypt. It considers three broad choices: a U.S./Israeli-style FTA focusing on the elimination of tariffs and restrictions; a broader agreement like the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which entails standardizing domestic competition policies and regulatory institutions; or a mix of both.The authors argue that a mix is probable and desirable from an Egyptian perspective. It avoids adapting US environmental and labor standard policies, since they may not be appropriate for Egypt at its current level of development. It would also give Egypt access to U.S. markets (especially for textile and agricultural products), increase FDI, and would improve how the country’s policy reform is viewed internationally.