Economic relations with the Middle East date back to the founding of the United States, though not always friendly. Egypt, on the other hand, has long been viewed as a strategic partner in the region and relations have been warm for most of the time. Despite short-term fluctuations, bilateral relations have been marked by an upward trend in trade and investment and are evident in the numerous supportive partnerships and agreements. After Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, the U.S. sought to reward Egypt through economic stimulus.
Before September 1994, the two major bilateral trade agreements between Egypt and the United States were a Market Access Agreement for Textiles and Clothing signed in 1973 and the Bilateral Investment Treaty signed in September 1982. The signing of the U.S.-Egyptian Partnership for Economic Growth and Development in September 1994 was an important milestone in the two countries' relationship.
In July 1999, Egypt and the United States signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as a preliminary step towards a free trade agreement between the two countries. Proceeding in that same direction, the U.S. announced the formation of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs) in Egypt on December 10, 2004. Details of the major partnerships and agreements are as follows:
- Textile and Apparel Agreement (1973,1995)
- United States Agency for International Development (1975)
- U.S. Generalized System of Preferences Program (1976)
- Double Taxation Treaty (1981)
- Bilateral Investment Treaty (1982)
- Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Defense (1988)
- The U.S.-Egypt Partnership for Economic Growth and Development (1994)
- Science and Technology Agreement (1995)
- Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (1999)
- Investment Incentives Agreement (1999)
- Cooperation in Energy Technology Agreement (1999)
- Egypt-U.S. Electronic Commerce Joint Statement (1999)
- Qualified Industrial Zones Agreement (2004)