On October 5-11, 2016, representatives from the Trade Policy Office (TPO) of Iraq's Ministry of Trade visited Washington, D.C. for consultations on trade policy analysis and trade facilitation. The visit constituted the third stage of a cooperation program designed and led by CLDP, conducted with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
As Iraq is opening its economy and wants to enter into trade agreements, the purpose of the program is to build capacity at Iraq's Trade Policy Office (TPO).
In Washington, D. C., the TPO delegates met with experts from different Commerce bureaus (International Trade Administration, Census bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis) as well as with experts from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the International Trade Commission, US Customs Border Protection, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During these meetings, the focus was on trade policy theory and analysis, on data collection, as well as on methods to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade and to facilitate trade through customs reforms.
As a result of the consultations, the TPO officials have a better understanding of liberalized economic trade theory and of the connection between trade and investment, regional integration, and economic diversification.
They also acquired access to new web-based tools and international databases, and will be adopting new trade policy analysis methods.
As a result of the consultations, the TPO officials have committed to streamlining legalization processes for certificates of origin required by Iraq, a persistent trade barrier, and to identifying, categorizing, and reporting all of Iraq’s non-tariff measures to the ITC.