The United States and Jordan continue to maintain a strong economic partnership. A key element of this relationship is the United States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which entered into force on December 17, 2001, and eliminated duties on January 1, 2010.
This FTA further benefits from Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs) established by Congress in 1996. The QIZ program allows products with a specified amount of Israeli content to enter the United States duty free if manufactured in Jordan, Egypt, or the West Bank and Gaza. U.S. goods exports to Jordan were an estimated $1.5 billion in 2019, down 6.8 percent from 2018. QIZ products account for about one percent of Jordanian exports to the United States. The QIZ share of these exports is declining relative to the share of exports shipped to the United States under provisions of the FTA.
At the Joint Committee’s most recent meeting, in July 2019, the United States pressed Jordan to: (1) eliminate the ban on U.S. genetically modified food products, and followed through on their commitment in March 2020; (2) rely on international, instead of EU; standards for manufactured and industrial products; and (3) to continue to protect geographical indications (GI) through a trademark system instead of adopting EU GI barriers. Jordan also agreed to host a consultative meeting of the FTA sub-committee. Barriers in government procurement remain a concern. The FTA does not contain government procurement commitments, and Jordan is not a party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
USTR continued to monitor labor rights in Jordan pursuant to labor provisions of the FTA and to work with Jordan in the area of labor standards. USTR and Jordan have previously recognized serious labor concerns in Jordan’s garment factories, including anti-union discrimination against foreign workers, poor conditions of accommodations for foreign workers, and gender discrimination and harassment. To address these concerns, in 2013, the United States and Jordan developed the Implementation Plan Related to Working and Living Conditions of Workers in Jordan. Pursuant to its commitments under the Implementation Plan, Jordan has improved the coordination of inspections in garment factory dormitories and continued those improvements in 2019 through additional technical support.
Jordan also passed several amendments to the Labor Law in May 2019, including provisions that made discrimination in wages between men and women illegal, created flex-time to increase female workforce participation, expanded requirements for employer-provided daycare centers, and granted three days of parental leave a year, among other changes. The United States continues to monitor changes in practice from these amendments.
During the year, the Jordanian Ministry of Labor (MOL) also finalized and issued a directive, incorporating input from social stakeholders, to combat sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. The United States continued to urge the MOL to complete two remaining directives included in the Implementation Plan related to enforcement of laws securing union access to workers in QIZs and preventing anti-union firings.
The MOL continues to work with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) funded International Labor Organization (ILO) Better Work program to improve the understanding of internationally recognized labor standards and the process for conducting audits in the garment sector. Jordan also worked with Better Work to ensure that factory-level audits are made publicly available and, in 2019, worked to reinforce long-term capacity improvements by seconding 17 of its 160 labor inspectors to the Better Work program.
Additionally, in 2019, DOL expanded an existing train-the-trainers program for MOL officials and social stakeholders to improve mediation and collective bargaining techniques and best practices. DOL also continued to fund the ILO in 2019 to build central and regional government capacity to identify and address child labor.
U.S.-Jordan Trade Facts
In 2019, Jordan GDP was an estimated $44.2 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 2.0%; and the population was 10 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with Jordan totaled an estimated $5.1 billion in 2019. Exports were $2.2 billion; imports were $2.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Jordan was $574 million in 2019.
Jordan is currently our 66th largest goods trading partner with $3.7 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2019. Goods exports totaled $1.5 billion; goods imports totaled $2.2 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Jordan was $677 million in 2019.
Trade in services with Jordan (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $1.4 billion in 2019. Services exports were $757 million; services imports were $654 million. The U.S. services trade surplus with Jordan was $103 million in 2019.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Jordan supported an estimated 11 thousand jobs in 2015 (latest data available) (7 thousand supported by goods exports and 5 thousand supported by services exports).
Jordan was the United States' 69th largest goods export market in 2019.
U.S. goods exports to Jordan in 2019 were $1.5 billion, down 5.6% ($89 million) from 2018 but up 25.2% from 2009. U.S. exports to Jordan are up 340% from 2001 (pre-FTA).
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: vehicles ($458 million), mineral fuels ($213 million), aircraft ($116 million), special other (returns) ($87 million), and edible fruit & nuts (shelled almonds) ($75 million).
U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Jordan totaled $226 million in 2019. Leading domestic export categories include: rice ($73 million), tree nuts ($73 million), condiments & sauces ($11 million), prepared food ($9 million), and beef & beef products ($6 million).
U.S. exports of services to Jordan were an estimated $757 million in 2019, 7.2% ($59 million) less than 2018, but 60.0% greater than 2009 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to Jordan were in the travel, transport, and maintenance and repair services sectors.
- Jordan was the United States' 64th largest supplier of goods imports in 2019.
U.S. goods imports from Jordan totaled $2.2 billion in 2019, up 19.6% ($356 million) from 2018, and up 134.8% from 2009. U.S. imports from Jordan are up 847% from 2001 (pre-FTA).
The top import categories(2-digit HS) in 2019 were: knit apparel ($1.3 billion), woven apparel ($469 million), precious metal and stone (jewelry) ($78 million), special other (returns) ($66 million), and mineral fuels ($60 million).
- U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Jordan totaled $16 million in 2019. Leading categories include: snack foods ($4 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($2 million), planting seeds ($2 million), roasted & instant coffee ($1 million), and spices ($985 thousand).
U.S. imports of services from Jordan were an estimated $654 million in 2019, 8.0% ($57 million) less than 2018, but 66.4% greater than 2009 levels. Leading services imports from Jordan to the U.S. were in the travel, transport, and technical and other services sectors.
The U.S. goods trade deficit with Jordan was $677 million in 2019, a 191.5% increase ($445 million) over 2018.
The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $103 million with Jordan in 2019, down 1.9% from 2018.
- U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Jordan (stock) was $179 million in 2019, a 0.6% decrease from 2018. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Jordan.
- No data on Jordan's FDI in the U.S. are available.
Sales of services in Jordan by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $57 million in 2017 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Jordan-owned firms were $2 million.