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USTR and Bahrain's Ministry of Industry and Commerce Hold FTA Joint Committee Meeting

October 21, 2009

Manama, Bahrain - Today representatives of the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain convened a meeting of the Joint Committee of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Christopher Wilson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East, led a U.S. delegation that included representatives from the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture. At the joint committee meeting, officials discussed a broad range of trade issues, including operation of the FTA and initiatives to increase cooperative efforts on labor rights and environmental protection, as well as trade initiatives by the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Bahrain is a member.

"These meetings in Bahrain are an important example of the United States' commitment to ensuring that our trade agreements are not only an economic success for workers, farmers, ranchers, businesses and consumers, but that they also promote enhanced protections for labor rights and the environment," said Wilson. "The FTA with Bahrain, along with the FTAs with Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Oman, also demonstrates the United States' commitment to deepening our relationship with the Middle East region and to ensuring that the benefits of trade liberalization are spread broadly."

While in Bahrain, the U.S. delegation will also meet with officials from the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance, as well as stakeholders from the private sector. These meetings follow a recent visit to Bahrain by a USTR-led delegation to increase engagement on labor issues.