- U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis: BEA produces economic accounts statistics on the performance of the U.S. economy.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: BLS measures U.S. labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
- CIA World Factbook: The CIA World Factbook compiles country data, updated weekly, including demographics, geography, and economic performance.
- Country Commercial Guide: The Country Commercial Guide is a market research search engine maintained by the U.S. Commercial Service.
- Investment Climate Statement: U.S. State Department Investment Climate Statements provide a thorough description of the overseas environments in which U.S. investors must operate. The statements cover general characteristics, such as openness to foreign investment and treatment of foreign investors, as well as details about procedures for licensing and similar administrative matters.
- USA.gov: USA.gov is the U.S. government’s official web portal, where the public can access U.S. government information and services on the web.
- US Census Bureau: The U.S. Census Bureau provides data on the U.S. people and economy.
- World Bank Doing Business survey: The World Bank Doing Business survey is conducted annually, and looks at domestic small and medium-size companies to measure the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.
- IMF – West Bank and Gaza: The office of the IMF Resident Representative for the West Bank and Gaza has provided provided policy advice in the macroeconomic, fiscal, and financial areas since 1994. The IMF has also been providing technical assistance to support capacity building in the areas of tax administration, public expenditure management, banking supervision and regulation, and macroeconomic statistics. The IMF’s staff reports review progress in implementing these plans, with a focus on the macroeconomic and fiscal areas.
- “The Direct Line for American Business program connects U.S. businesses with American Ambassadors and U.S. mission personnel overseas, making you part of our “country team.” You will get up-to-the minute information on markets vital to your business, and learn about new sectors and tenders to help you expand your business. For more information and to receive announcements of new calls, visit www.state.gov/directline.” Contact Jim Cisek (CisekJF@state.gov) to request a high quality graphic of the Direct Line logo.
- SelectUSA: a program to attract and facilitate job creating investment in the United States. The highly successful SelectUSA Summit held in Washington on October 31 – November 1 underscored the attractiveness and openness of the United States for foreign investment. Visit the SelectUSA website. Contact HolmanAE@state.gov to request a high definition graphic of the SelectUSA logo.
Bilateral Investment Agreements
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on behalf of the PA, has signed international trade agreements, which refer implicitly or explicitly to World Trade Organization rules. These include:
- Paris Protocol Agreement with Israel (1994) – free trade in products between Israel and Palestinian markets
- Technical and Economic Cooperation Accord with Egypt (1994)
- Trade Agreement between the PA and Jordan (1995)
- Duty Free Arrangements with the United States (1996)
- The EuroMed Interim Association Agreement on Trade and Co-operation (1997)
- Interim Agreement between European Free Trade Area (EFTA) states and the PLO (1997)
- Joint Canadian-Palestinian Framework for Economic Cooperation and Trade (1999)
- Agreement on Commercial Cooperation with Russia – extends MFN status
- Greater Arab Free Trade Area, to which PA is a party (2001)
- Free Trade Agreement with Turkey (2004)
- Trade Agreement with the EU – duty free access for Palestinian agricultural and fishery goods (2011)
- Free Trade Agreement with Mercosur (2011)
- Unilateral acts by other Arab trade partners extending preferential treatment to trade with Palestine.
Since 1996, duty-free treatment has been available to all goods exported from the West Bank/Gaza to the United States, provided they meet qualifying criteria as spelled out in the U.S.- Israel Free Trade Area (FTA) Implementation Act of 1985, as amended. he duty-free benefits accorded under the FTA exceed those benefits which would be provided under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). It is worth noting that the benefits for imports to the Palestinian territories provided in all of the trade agreements listed above are subject to application by the GOI, since all goods destined for the West Bank or Gaza must enter through Israeli-controlled crossings or ports. The GOI generally applies duties and tariffs consistent with its trade agreements, not with the PA’s trade agreements.