Applying Safeguard Measures in the Context of Arab Free Trade Agreements
with the U.S.
The U.S. has concluded trade agreements with selected Arab countries. First, the
U.S. concluded an FTA with Jordan in 2001.
Then, the U.S. has launched a 10-year
effort to form a US-Middle East free trade area.
The U.S. will employ a “building-
This approach requires, as a first step, a Middle East country to
accede to the WTO or concluding Trade and Investment Framework Agreement(s)
(TIFA). Then, the U.S. will negotiate FTA with individual countries. Finally,
preferably before 2013, a critical mass of bilateral FTAs would come together to form
the broader US-Middle East FTA. To achieve this end, the U.S. successfully
negotiated and signed FTA's with Bahrain (2006), Morocco (2006), and Oman
The purpose of all these FTAs with Arab countries is, among other things, to
liberalize trade and increase market access.
Mindful that requiring trade liberalization
* Bashar H. Malkawi is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Sharjah, UAE. He holds an
S.J.D in International Trade law from the American University, Washington College of Law, and an
L.L.M in International Trade law from the University of Arizona.
See United States (U.S.)-Jordan: Agreement Between The United States of America and the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on The Establishment of a Free Trade Area, Oct. 24, 2000, 41 I. L. M.
63 (entered into force Dec. 17, 2001).
See Grary G. Yerkey, President Bush Lays Out Broad Plan for Regional FTA with Middle East by
2013, 20 Intl. Trade Rep. (BNA) 856 (May 15, 2003).
See Mike Allen & Karen DeYoung, Bush Calls Trade Key To Mideast; President launches Plan For
U.S. Pact in Region, Wash. Post A01 (May 10, 2003).
See United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (2006), available at <
http://www.moroccousafta.com/ftafulltext.htm >; United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (2006),
available at < http://www.fta.gov.bh/categoryList.asp?cType=Texts >; and United States-Oman Free
Trade Agreement (2009), available at < http://www.omanusfta.com/documents.html >.
See United States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, available at
United States-Morocco Free Trade
Agreement, preamble, available at < http://www.moroccousafta.com/pdf/00-preamble.pdf>; United
States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement , available at <http://www.fta.gov.bh/images/UploadFiles/00-
preamble.pdf>; and States-Oman Free Trade Agreement, available at <