U.S., Lebanon strengthen trade relations
The Bush administration signed an agreement with the Lebanese government Thursday to improve trade and investment relations between the two countries.
The U.S.-Lebanon Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) creates a joint council that will consider a range of commercial issues and sets out basic principles underlying the nations' trade and investment relationship. The council will work to resolve any trade disputes between the two countries. A TIFA is often the first step toward negotiating a free trade agreement.
U.S. goods exports to Lebanon in 2005 were valued at $466 million, and included machinery, vehicles and electrical machinery. U.S. exports of agricultural products to Lebanon were valued at $63 million, including course grains and tree nuts.
U.S. goods imports from Lebanon in 2005 were valued at $92 million, including precious stones, furniture and bedding, and inorganic chemicals. U.S. imports of agricultural products from Lebanon were valued at $17 million.
The United States has TIFAs with other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.