US signs trade agreements with Kuwait and Yemen
US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick signed Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA's) on behalf of the United States with the governments of Yemen and Kuwait.
Zoellick said the agreements are "an integral part of the President's initiative to advance economic reforms in the Middle East and create a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013," according to a USTR press release.
The agreements establish US-Yemen and US-Kuwait Councils on Trade and Investment, in which high-level representatives from those countries will meet to advance trade and economic issues.
According to USTR figures, US goods exports to Yemen in 2002 totaled $366 million, including aircraft, oilfield and drilling equipment, electrical appliances, wheat, and dairy products. US goods imports from Yemen in 2002 totaled $246 million, including crude oil, and coffee.
US goods exports to Kuwait in 2002 totaled one billion dollars, including iron and steel, chemicals, drilling and oilfield equipment, aircraft, and food products. The United States imported two billion dollars in goods from Kuwait during the same year, including crude oil, petroleum products, and chemical fertilizer.
Bahrain, Jordan, and Morocco concluded TIFA's with the United States before opening negotiations for free trade agreements. The Jordanian government reported that Free trade with the United States has enabled the Kingdom to dramatically increase its exports to the United States to a projected $600 million in 2003 and to create more than 30,000 jobs. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)