The American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt:
Message to Washington
A strong, peaceful, and economically prosperous Egypt is a fundamental U.S. interest in the Middle East. It is in the interest of both countries to have a strong bilateral relationship, one built on three pillars: economic/military cooperation; trade and investment; and political support.
- The United States should use its influence and leverage to support Egypt in its loan negotiations with the IMF. The IMF loan is critical because it will lead to additional financial assistance from other multi-lateral institutions.
- Continued U.S. economic support to Egypt is critical, and should focus on projects that directly help the Egyptian people: education; health care; and technical assistance.
- It is necessary to maintain the annual $250 million in development and technical assistance through USAID and release the remaining $200 million pledged from the $450 million disbursement.
- The U.S.-Egyptian military relationship has been the cornerstone of stability in the eastern Mediterranean. Egypt's military consistently has supported peace and stability in the region and at home. This is not the time to reduce or end U.S. assistance to Egypt's military.
Bilateral trade and investment
- It is time for the United States and Egypt to begin serious negotiations over a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). While an FTA could take several years to negotiate, the very process of negotiation will be a powerful confidence-building measure and will generate important economic reforms in Egypt.
- Pending agreement on an FTA, the United States and Egypt should finalize and ratify a new Bilateral Investment Treaty and the United States should expand the QIZ program into new industrial sectors and more regions of Egypt.
Support for private sector engagement
- Egypt is committed to a free market economy and private sector investment. Strengthening and deepening commercial ties between our two nations is our mutual interest, and U.S. policy can facilitate this process through agencies such as OPIC, the Small Business Administration, Ex-Im Bank, TDA and others.
- We strongly support the new Enterprise Fund and look forward to its future growth.
Support for Egypt's political process
- AmCham Egypt has always been open to all Egyptians who share our desire to strengthen business relationships between Egyptian and American firms. Consistent with this view, we support an open and tolerant political process in Egypt in which political divisions are resolved peacefully and democratically. At this stage in its democratic transformation, the Egyptian people want to see all sides working to achieve consensus on the most divisive issues; security and order in the streets; and a commitment by all sides to the rule of law. While the United States must not choose sides in Egypt, it must lend its powerful voice to support those who are fighting for a tolerant, peaceful and just society.