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US says FTA with UAE off for now

Gulf Daily News | 10 March 2007

US says FTA with UAE off for now

WASHINGTON: US trade officials said yesteday they would not finish free trade talks with the UAE by a deadline at the end of this month, but would continue to pursue closer economic ties.

"Negotiations (on the free trade agreement) will resume at a later date," Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative’s office, said, without providing any indication when that would be.

A second US trade official said the two countries had decided after extensive consultations that they would not be able to finish the free trade talks in time.

"Both sides remain committed to completing the FTA and we do expect to resume those negotiations at a later time," the trade official said.

Negotiations over the past year have focused on a few remaining core areas of the proposed free trade agreement, particularly relating to the investment chapter.

"We’ve been working very hard to resolve those issues, but we have not been able to achieve any significant breakthroughs," the official said.

 source: Gulf Daily News