Statement of USTR Susan C. Schwab Regarding Entry Into Force of the U.S. -Bahrain Free Trade Agreement
I am pleased that the President has issued a proclamation to implement the U.S.-Bahrain FTA as of August 1, 2006.
We have worked closely and intensively with the Government of Bahrain to ensure that the obligations and responsibilities of each party under the agreement have been met.
Soon U.S. farmers, manufacturers and service providers will enjoy new opportunities in this growing market. The agreement also marks a milestone in strengthening ties and promoting freedom in the Middle East and is an important step in advancing President Bush=s proposal to establish a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013.
The United States will continue to confer with Bahrain and other free trade agreement partners as we look for opportunities to advance the Doha Development Agenda."
Negotiations on the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement began in January 2004 and concluded in May of that year. Implementing legislation for the agreement passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in December 2005 and was signed by President Bush in January 2006.