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US and Jordan Agree to Investment, Tech, and Labor Rights Principles

The United States and Jordan have agreed to two sets of “Joint Principles”–one for International Investment, one for Information and Communication (ICT) Services–and an initiative to promote labor rights and and improved working conditions in Jordan.

The announcement came last week from US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who said that Jordan is “a key strategic bilateral trade and investment partner to the United States” and “plays a pivotal role in the Obama Administration’s trade and investment partnership with the Middle East and North Africa.”

In 2011, the US directly invested $145 million in Jordan–up a dramatic 46.5% from 2010–and the two countries traded $2.5 billion in goods–up 17%. 

An implementation plan to improve working and living conditions in Jordan, according to Kirk, will reaffirm both countries’ commitment to labor rights and laws. The initiative aims, among other things, to maintain open and non-discriminatory investments, robust protection for foreign investment, and laws and regulations that are developed transparently and with public participation.

Provisions to the agreement will be developed in the coming months.