US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick formally notified Congress Monday, August 4, 2003, that the United States and Bahrain are scheduled to open negotiations in January 2004 for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
"An FTA with Bahrain will promote the President's initiative to advance economic reforms and openness in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, moving us closer to the creation of a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013," Zoellick said.
“A US-Bahrain FTA will build on the FTAs that we already have with Israel and Jordan, as well as the FTA we currently negotiating with Morocco," wrote Zoellick in the letter to Congressional leaders.
“Last week, Congress completed favorable action on our two new FTAs with Singapore and Chile. We are in the midst of negotiations on FTAs with Morocco, Australia, five nations in Central America, and five nations in southern Africa," said Zoellick today regarding the notification. "Today, the Administration is building on this momentum by announcing our intent to start free trade talks with Bahrain and the Dominican Republic."
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)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )