The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States held their seventh Economic Policy Dialogue, via videoconference, on June 18, 2020.
The Dialogue was co-chaired by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs HE Abdulnasser Alshaali and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Peter Haas. UAE Ambassador to the United States HE Yousef Al Otaiba, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates HE John Rakolta, and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Ms. Kelley Currie were also in attendance.
During the discussions, both countries reaffirmed their desire to expand engagement and pursue new economic, trade, investment, and commercial opportunities. Despite the challenges embodied by the current global health situation, both sides applauded the convening of the event and emphasized their shared commitment to maintain open and regular communication.
The two delegations confirmed that the U.S.-UAE economic relationship remains close and constructive. They noted that non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and the United States has grown consistently over recent years, with the UAE constituting the United States’ largest export market in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region for the 11th consecutive year.
Both sides highlighted the mutual benefits of this relationship, with UAE trade and investment supporting more than 116,000 American jobs. It was also noted that the United States held a USD 15.6 billion trade surplus with the UAE in 2019, its third largest globally, thus re-affirming the UAE’s position as a vital economic partner.
During the meeting, delegates from both countries discussed efforts to increase bilateral trade. The United States underlined its appreciation for the considerable progress the UAE continues to make in implementing open economic and investment policies, and its ongoing efforts to strengthen regional economic prosperity.
Turning to broader commercial interaction, the UAE raised concerns about steel and aluminum tariffs, and thanked the United States for the constructive bilateral dialogue that continues to take place on the newly expanded requirements relating to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Additionally, both sides committed to explore new potential areas for cooperation in a range of sectors, including food security, health security and health care research, space, customs matters, emerging technologies, and women’s economic empowerment in line with the United States’ Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. Upon conclusion of the meeting, the UAE and U.S. delegations reiterated their desire to work closely and collaboratively in expanding bilateral trade and investment, and seeking new opportunities for positive engagement.
In 2012, the UAE and United States partnered to form the Economic Policy Dialogue, which serves as an annual platform for both Governments to promote bilateral trade and investments and to facilitate a more cooperative business environment.