Bahrain is the first member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and a third Arab country to have a free trade agreement with the United States. In 2019, imports amounted to USD 836 million and exports from this agreement to USD 792 million. The second JC meeting took place on 21 October 2009. During the meeting, officials discussed a wide range of trade issues. In particular, they examined the considerable efforts made by the two governments in 2009 to ensure the effective implementation of the main customs aspects of the free trade agreement, including targeted technical assistance to Bahrain`s customs authorities, as well as Bahrain`s trade initiatives, considered one of the most open economies in the Middle East and North Africa. The country has made considerable efforts to diversify its economy. Its sophisticated communications and transport facilities make Bahrain home to many Multinationals in the Gulf. With good infrastructure, several free trade agreements and strong financial institutions, Bahrain is well positioned to offer a wide range of incentives to investors who have access to international and regional markets. The first phases of free trade negotiations between Bahrain and the United States date back to 1999, with the signing of a bilateral investment agreement (ILO) that came into force on 31 May 2001. This is the first treaty of its kind signed between the United States and a gcc member and aims to stimulate the flow of private investment between the two countries. Both sides agreed that a stable investment framework would maximize the efficient use of economic resources and improve living standards. A year later, a Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment (TIFA) was signed on 18 June 2002, a prelude to the free trade negotiations. TIFA was conceived as a forum for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on economic reforms and trade liberalization.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) are international agreements that encourage trade in imports and exports between countries. In general, free trade agreements remove barriers between countries, so that participants can comply with agreed laws and be treated as foreign citizens in trade transactions. Removes all trade barriers for services and at the same time opens up the U.S. market to Bahraini service providers. This allows Bahrain services to continue to grow, as providers can organise services through a local presence or across borders. The overall objective of the Bahrain Free Trade Agreement is to facilitate trade flows, stimulate investment flows, increase manufacturing and services sectors, and encourage the exchange of expertise to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Bahrain. The agreement sets out the tariffs and obligations of both countries to remove import and export duties. In addition, other conditions for trade in goods and services between Bahrain and the United States will be liberalized. Removes all tariff and non-tariff barriers. This reduces export costs and increases the competitiveness of Bahraini products in U.S.
markets. The U.S. Senate approved the legislation by vote on December 13, 2005. On January 11, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the USBFTA Implementation Act (Pub.L. 109-169 (text) (pdf)).   The free trade agreement was implemented on 1 August 2006 and will remove some barriers to trade between the two countries.  Manufacturing companies can face major financial and logistical challenges, but Bahrain is making the decision easier. Bahraini companies benefit not only from international trade agreements, but also from lower costs, a strategic site, a highly skilled workforce and world-class infrastructure, with favourable tax regimes in areas such as the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP). The agreement provides for the immediate or phasing out of tariffs and barriers to bilateral trade in goods and services originating in the Kingdom of Bahrain or the United States.