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Tripoli, Libya – Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Libyan General People’s Committee on Industry, Economy and Trade have signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The TIFA will provide a forum to address trade issues and will help build trade and investment relations between the United States and Libya. Christopher Wilson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East, and Undersecretary Taher M. Sarkez of the General People’s Committee for Industry, Economy, and Trade signed the agreement today in Tripoli.
The TIFA will establish a forum for discussion of our bilateral trade and investment relations and will help build those relations. The TIFA mandates the formation of a joint U.S.-Libya Council on Trade and Investment (“The Council”) which will address a wide range of trade and investment issues including market access, intellectual property, labor, and environmental issues. The Council will also help to increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Libya.
The TIFA is the latest step in a joint effort by the United States and Libya to broaden and deepen our bilateral relations. In 2009, Libya was the United States’ 69th largest goods trade partner with $2.6 billion in two-way trade. Top U.S. exports to Libya include vehicles, machinery, agricultural products, medical instruments, and iron and steel products. Oil was Libya’s principal export to the United States.