United States Bahrain Free Trade Agreement

The Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (BHFTA) entered into force on 1 August 2006. Under the agreement, most Bahraini goods will enter the United States on tariffs and goods processing fees (MPFs), and virtually all will be imported free of charge until full implementation by January 1, 2015. While Bahrain is essentially tax-free, some products, such as gasoline, are subject to indirect taxes. The first steps in free trade negotiations between Bahrain and the United States date back to 1999, with the signing of a bilateral investment agreement (BIT), which entered into force on 31 May 2001. This is the first treaty of its kind signed between the United States and a GCC member and aims to boost the flow of private investment between the two countries. Both sides agreed that a stable framework for investment would maximize the efficient use of economic resources and improve living standards. A year later, on 18 June 2002, a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed, kicking off negotiations on a free trade agreement. TIFA was conceived as a forum for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on economic reforms and trade liberalization. The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which went into effect on January 11, 2006, creates export opportunities for the United States and creates jobs for U.S. farmers and workers. The agreement also supports Bahrain`s economic and political reforms and strengthens trade ties with a Persian Gulf businessman.

On the first day of the entry into force of the agreement, 100% of reciprocal trade in industrial and consumer goods began to circulate without customs duties. Bahrain has a modern health system. All Bahrainis receive free public health care. Current plans for the health sector include the construction of a third large public hospital, King Hamad Hospital in Muharraq, where construction of the project has already begun. The Royal College of Surgeons will use the medical facilities as a learning hospital. In the private sector, the Boston-based Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC) built its first facility outside the United States in Bahrain in 2003. Due to the increased demand for diabetes treatments in Bahrain and the Gulf, JDC announced in 2004 its intention to add an additional building to the existing facility. In 2002, a $45 million private hospital, Bahrain Specialty Hospital, contributed to the growth of the country`s private medical services with the establishment of Ibn Al Nafees Hospital.

Officials from Bahrain`s ministry of health also announced that the government could begin outsourcing some jobs, including managing medical and non-medical services at the $80 million King Hamad Hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2007. The United States Senate approved the bill by vote on December 13, 2005. President George W. Bush signed the USBFTA Implementation Act on January 11, 2006 (Pub.L. 109-169 (text) (pdf)). [2] [3] The Free Trade Agreement was implemented on August 1, 2006 and will reduce some barriers to trade between the two countries. [4] Bahrain is a major financial services centre in the Middle East. The legal, regulatory and accounting systems of the financial sector (onshore and offshore) are transparent and comply with international standards. International financial institutions operate in Bahrain internationally and domestically without obstacles.

Bahrain`s attractiveness as a financial centre is based on its established offshore assets, free movement of foreign currency, tax-exempt status, stable dinar-USD exchange rate, established insurance sector, modern telecommunications systems and privileged geographical location among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The financial sector has emerged as a major driver of employment for Bahrain. The second meeting of the JC took place on October 21, 2009. During the meeting, officials discussed a wide range of trade issues. In particular, they discussed the considerable efforts made by the two governments in 2009 to ensure the effective implementation of key customs aspects of the FTA, including through targeted technical assistance to Bahrain Customs authorities, as well as trade initiatives under the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on 11 January 2006 and creates export opportunities for the United States. Create jobs for American farmers and workers. The agreement also supports Bahrain`s economic and political reforms and strengthens trade ties with a Persian Gulf businessman. On the first day of the entry into force of the agreement, 100% of reciprocal trade in industrial and consumer goods began to circulate without customs duties.

As a result of the FTA, U.S. farmers have significantly increased their agricultural exports to Bahrain. In addition, Bahrain has opened up its services market more than any previous FTA partner, creating significant new opportunities for U.S. financial services and companies providing telecommunications, audiovisual, express delivery, distribution, healthcare, architecture and engineering services. The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is an agreement between the United States and Bahrain that allows the two countries to strengthen and develop their economic relationship and establish free trade between the two countries by removing and removing trade barriers to goods and investment. and to lay the foundations for further cooperation in order to extend and increase the benefits of such an agreement. The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement provides new market access for U.S. consumer and industrial products, as well as agricultural products. .