US, Gulf countries reach agreement to strengthen trade, investment ties
September 29, 2012, 12:01 am TWN
WASHINGTON -- The United States on Thursday said it has signed a framework agreement with Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to explore ways to boost trade and investment with the oil-rich region. The GCC also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Total two-way trade between the United States and the GCC totaled almost US$100 billion last year, with the U.S. running about a US$24 billion trade deficit.
"This important trade and investment agreement will help to grow and strengthen our economic ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is a key strategic U.S. partner in the Middle East and North Africa region," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.