U.S. Launches FTA Talks With UAE And Oman

Even as talks in the Doha Round of global trade negotiations and for the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas remain conspicuously unfinished, the U.S. is proceeding with two bilateral free-trade pacts.

Negotiations with the United Arab Emirates began this week, and talks to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers with Oman are slated to begin March 12. If successful, the free-trade agreements (FTAs) would bring the Bush administration closer to its goal of establishing a regional Middle East Free Trade Area with the United States by 2013.

Within the Middle East and the Gulf, the U.S. already has free-trade agreements with Jordan and Morocco and has signed, but not yet implemented, an FTA with Bahrain.

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