FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (FTA), USA -
21 February, 2006.
The United States and the UAE have been working on a free- trade pact
since March 2005. The two nations are engaged in bilateral free talks that
would liberalize trade between the two countries and would allow companies
to own and operate businesses in both nations.
The UAE, the only federal government in the Arab world consists of seven
autocratic sheikhdoms. The two most important emirates are Abu Dhabi and
Dubai. Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven and the source of most of
UAE's oil reserves, which are believed to be the fifth-biggest in the
The free-trade talks that had been scheduled to hold in Abu Dhabi were
suddenly postponed last week after congressional efforts to block a Port Deal prompted
Dubai Ports World to announce it would sell its right to run terminal
operations at U.S. ports.
The Bush administration has proposed a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA),
which would link 22 Arab nations, Israel and the United States by 2013.
The United States already has free trade pacts with Israel, Jordan,
Morocco and Bahrain. Congress is expected to vote on an agreement this
year with Oman, which neighbors the UAE.
The United States' trade relationship with the UAE is the third largest in
the Middle East, after Israel and Saudi Arabia. Trade between the United
States and the UAE amounted to $10 billion in 2005, making it the
third-largest U.S. trading partner in the Middle East behind Israel and
UAE Ports Deal & The US Law
The sale of major USA Ports to DP World has highlighted the issue of port
security, long seen as one of the most vulnerable areas for a potential
attack against the US by international terrorists.
The firm, Dubai Ports World, is owned by the United Arab Emirates, an
Islamic regime that is now being regularly described in the media as a
The U.S. lawmakers' protests against the deal that the UAE was a dubious
partner because it has reportedly been pursuing a free trade deal with
neighbouring Iran, a country the United States views as a threat to Israel
and to U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East.
Put the "national security" concerns aside for a moment -- what about the
human rights concerns? The UAE is in no way a "model neighbour" that we
should respect or reward. Why on Earth would we be doing business with
these people in any context, let alone one deeply entwined with our
The democracy we're fighting for in Iraq does not exist in the UAE. Inside
the UAE, according to the State Department, there is no freedom of the
press and Internet access is restricted!
Smart Reasons to STOP Port Deal!
Also view: The UAE Port Deal
No Free Trade Pacts Without Reform l
"One of the
world’s largest construction booms is feeding off of workers
in Dubai, but they’re treated as less than human. It’s no
surprise that some workers have started rioting in protest.
What’s surprising is that the government of the UAE is doing
nothing to solve the problem".
Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW)
View Full Text
Workers At Risk!
million foreigners, most of them unskilled or semi-skilled
migrants, work in Gulf states. Migrants comprise some 90
percent of the 1.7 million workers in the United Arab
Despite their value to both their home countries and the
societies in which they work, many migrant workers suffer from
discrimination, exploitation and abuse. ..."Thousands of children are trafficked to the United Arab
Emirates for use as camel jockeys," " said Rory Mungoven,
global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.
View Full Text: Dubai: Migrant Workers at Risk