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In May 2004, after just four months of talks, US and Bahraini trade negotiators concluded a free trade agreement between the two countries. The agreement was signed by US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Bahrain’s Minister of Finance and National Economy, Abdulla Hassan Saif, in September 2004.

Ratification and entry into force was to come after Bahrain assured Washington that it "no longer supports a boycott of Israeli goods".

The FTA came into force on 1 August 2006. Two years later, the government claimed that the best impacts of the FTA were boosting Bahrain’s image in the US and speeding up domestic policy changes at home, while critics pointed to the country’s rapidly deteriorating trade surplus with the US. The AFL-CIO has called on the US Administration to withdraw from the agreement over human rights concerns and the mass dismissals of many public sector workers.

last update: May 2012

First trade & investment mission to the USA completes successfully
A 14-member delegation from the Bahrain American Chamber of Commerce has returned after a successful trade mission to the US.
FTA - a passport of opportunities
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a ’passport of opportunities’ and it is up to the business communities of both Bahrain and the US to see how best they can use this opportunity, the President of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Samir Benmukhlouf, said yesterday.
FTA deal ’will help Egyptian investors’
Deputy Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB) Dr Zakaria Hijris has urged the Egyptian private sector to benefit from the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bahrain and the US.
Manama welcomes US Congress approval of draft FTA with Bahrain
The Bahraini cabinet on Sunday welcomed the US Congress’ endorsement of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bahrain.
House OKs trade agreement with Bahrain
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to make the small Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain one of the few Middle Eastern countries with a free-trade relationship with the United States.
Bahrain-US FTA ’will spur competitiveness’
A free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Bahrain will help remove regulatory barriers to trade in Bahrain’s markets, but it is up to the country to improve competitiveness, a new study found.
FTA plea by Bush
US President Bush yesterday urged the US Congress to approve a long-awaited Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bahrain.
Bahrain MPs, govt clash over Israel trade plans
Bahrain’s parliament yesterday rejected a decision by the government to lift a ban on Israeli goods as part of a trade deal with the United States.
Bahrain-US FTA backed
Business giants in the US are backing the Free Trade Agreement with Bahrain as it comes under scrutiny in hearings at the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington.
Israel ties ruled out
The decision to lift boycott of Israel in line with the US FTA does not entail any economic, cultural, political, diplomatic or any other form of normalisation, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said.