Encouraging pro-trade action

The Daily Star reports United States pursues more free-trade agreements in the Middle East.

Jordan and Morocco have completed free trade agreements with the US and Congress is set to ratify one with Bahrain. Agreements are in negotiation with United Arab Emirates and Oman. The mercantilists out there will be pleased to know that the balance of trade favors the US. (Personally, I prefer it the other way around – where we trade these nebulous computer digits called “dollars” for actual goods – but I understand there are people out there who lack understanding and would rather US workers make goods for others to use.)

In 2004, total exports to the U.S. from the six Middle Eastern countries – U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan – amounted to $6.6 billion. Total imports from the U.S. were estimated at $7.2 billion.

Even without an FTA, bilateral trade with those six countries has increased in the past few years, jumping about 30 percent since 2002, although most of that have been U.S. exports rather than imports.

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