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Jordan Informs Ankara Over Intent to End Free Trade Agreement

Jordan has officially informed Ankara over its intention to end Free Trade Agreement (FTA) after efforts to overcome the points of disagreements yielded no result.

“After we suspended the deal with Turkey, we held several meetings to find some solutions and we met with Turkish officials as Jordan did not benefit from the deal, but to no avail,” Yaroub Qudah, minister of State, Industry and Supply, told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

The agreement suspended in March triggered by a desire on the Jordanian side to protect local industries and products given the imbalance between two economies and industries.

In April, Jordan expressed a desire to reactive the deal but laid out a certain set of measures for Turkey to concede to the protection of Jordan’s nascent local industries.

The new terms set by Jordan also includes increasing Turkish technical assistance to Jordan’s locally produced goods.

“The agreement had a negative impact on the Jordanian industries due to the imbalanced competition between Jordanian and Turkish products,” Qudah added, after noting that efforts have so far failed for an accord.

The decision created mixed reactions in Jordan. While industrialists embraced the government’s new protectionist policy, trade unions expressed dismay.

According to the Jordan Times, part of the change emanated from the fact that FTA significantly worked to the benefit of Turkey. The Turkish exports, before 2011 when the deal was put into effect, were hovering around $23 million. After the FTA took effect, it skyrocketed to $135 million annually.

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