Saudi Arabia - Trade Agreements Saudi Arabia - Trade Agreements
Saudi Arabia is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which consists of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Membership confers special trade and investment privileges within those countries. The GCC implemented a Customs Union on January 1, 2003 that stipulates free movement of local goods among member states. The member states also agreed that they would switch to a single currency by January 1, 2010 at the latest, which has not materialized as yet and the common market proposal is still being worked out. Saudi Arabia is also a member of the League of Arab States. The League has agreed to negotiate an Arab Free Trade Zone.
In 2003, the United States signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with Saudi Arabia. A TIFA is typically an umbrella agreement for ongoing structured dialogue between the United States and foreign governments on economic reform and trade liberalization. The agreement promotes the establishment of legal protections for investors, improvements in intellectual property protection, more transparent and efficient customs procedures, and greater transparency in government and commercial regulations. TIFA negotiations on a wide variety of trade and trade policy issues occur every one to two years. As of this writing, the last TIFA meeting was held in Washington, DC in May 2018.