US Commerce Secretary meets Razak Dawood

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ISLAMABAD: United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called on Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce, Industries, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday to discuss ways and means to further enhance trade ties with Islamabad.


They discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest. They agreed to enhance mutual trade to a maximum level. The visiting US Commerce secretary will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.  Abdul Razak asked Wilbur Ross to convene the meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council to move forward seriously on a number of issues.

The visit by a senior US official follows the recent signing of $3 billion worth defence deal between the US and India during President Trump’s visit to New Delhi.

According to sources, the last meeting of TIFA was held in May 2019 in which both sides had discussed ways to improve access to products, such as agricultural goods and medicines, in each other’s markets.

Pakistan had been keen to explore potential trade concessions as it could import more US cotton in return for preferential US market access for its apparel exports, they added.

A Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA) could be a long-term goal because of complexity involved in the process, sources further said, and added that the TIFA framework provided an institutional mechanism to carry forward those discussions and come up with new ideas.

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