Saudi Arabia - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Agreements
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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.  In 2021, however, Saudi Arabia amended its rules on imports from other GCC countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli input from preferential tariff concessions, in a bid to challenge the United Arab Emirates’ status as the region’s trade and business hub.  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.  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.  The last TIFA meeting was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March 2023.