Algeria announced Monday that it intends to reassess a deal with the European Union (EU) on entering a free trade area with the bloc as of September 1.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune asked Trade Minister Kamel Rezig to “carry out an assessment of the dossier of the association agreement with the EU, which must be the subject of special attention, asserting our interests for balanced relations,” according to an official statement.
Political and business leaders have heavily criticized the proposed full implementation of the free trade zone, viewing the deal as being largely to the detriment of Algeria.
Algeria and the EU created a free trade zone on 1 September 2005. The deal set a 12-year transitional period for Algeria to phase out its tariffs, including on industrial products. The period was extended until 2020 for certain products such as steel, textiles, electronics, and vehicles.
Algeria has repeatedly asked to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, which turned out to be inadequate to the country.