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Jordan and Israel Agree to Free Trade Accord

Israel and Jordan agreed to ease trade barriers and phase in the first free trade agreement between Israel and an Arab state by the end of 2010. According to the deal, more than 80 percent of Jordan's exports to Israel and more than 50 percent of Israeli exports to Jordan will be exempt from customs duties by 2010. Today, only 9.7 percent of Israeli exports and 73 percent of Jordanian exports have such preferential terms. in addition to the bilateral benefits, the agreement will allow greater exports from both nations to reach the United States and the European Union.