The Office of the United States Trade Representative

United States and Tunisia Sign Agreement Fostering Trade and Investment
Contact: Richard Mills (202) 395-3230 10/02/2002

WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and Tunisian Minister of Development and International Cooperation Mohamed Nouri Jouini today signed an agreement that provides a forum for Tunisia and the United States to examine opportunities for expanding trade and investment between the two countries.

"This agreement will expand our trade and investment relationship with Tunisia and help to enhance economic growth and prosperity with an important friend of the United States," said Zoellick. "Tunisia has been supportive in the war against terrorism and this agreement will be an excellent platform for deepening our economic relationship, and is part of our effort to enhance stability and moderation in the region. Increased trade will benefit U.S. exporters and strengthen Tunisia's economy through growth and investment."

"Tunisia's support for the World Trade Organization and the Doha Development Agenda are opportunities to build broader support for trade liberalization and its own reform agenda," added Zoellick.

The new Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) establishes a United States-Tunisia Council on Trade and Investment, which includes representatives from each country and is chaired by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Tunisian Ministry of Development and International Cooperation. The Council will establish a mechanism for ongoing discussions on how to expand trade and investment between the United States and Tunisia. The United States views TIFAs as an important part of its effort to enhance bilateral trade and investment and support economic reforms with its partners.

In 2001, the United States exported $278 million worth of goods to Tunisia, such as cereals ($70m), aircraft ($53m), and machinery ($44m). The United States imported goods valued at $122 million from Tunisia.

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