Bahrain and US begin free trade negotiations
The United States and Bahrain are beginning negotiations toward a free trade agreement (FTA), which will lower tariff barriers and expand bilateral trade between the two nations, reported the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The FTA is scheduled to be completed by the year’s end.
The first round of negotiations opened on January 26, 2004 in Manama. USTR Robert Zoellick described Bahrain as "an important strategic partner" of the United States in the Middle East that is "implementing significant economic and political reforms." An FTA with the United States "will support and accelerate those reforms," he said in a press release.
US goods exports to Bahrain in 2002 totaled $419.2 million, including aircraft, machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, and toys, games and sports equipment. Agricultural commodities that could benefit from an FTA include US meats, fruits and vegetables, cereals, and dairy products.
Bahrain's goods exports to the United States in 2002 totaled $395.1 million, including articles of apparel and clothing accessories, aluminum, fertilizers, organic chemicals, mineral fuels and oils, plastics, and electrical machinery. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)