The United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) signed a Framework Agreement for Trade, Economic, Investment and Technical Cooperation (“Agreement”) on September 25, 2012. The GCC is composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. According to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the Agreement is designed to forge closer economic ties, create jobs, and increase U.S. exports.
Trade between the U.S. and the GCC reached nearly $100 billion in 2011. The U.S. imports mainly petroleum and chemical products from the GCC, while U.S. exports comprise primarily manufactured goods: vehicles, aircraft, electrical and other machinery, and optical and medical instruments.
The Agreement establishes a Joint Committee to meet regularly in pursuit the aims of the bilateral relationship, including: creating an open environment for economic integration, exploring the possibility for more comprehensive trade and investment relations, and facilitating private sector partnerships.