US Trade ties crucial for Pakistan’s stability: Price

DM Monitoring

WASHINGTON: The United States said that its robust trade relationship with Pakistan was crucial as the country recovers from the effects of the devastating floods last year.
Addressing a press briefing in Washington on Thursday, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council ministerial meeting hosted by the US Trade Representative Ambassador Tai exemplified American commitment to deepening economic and commercial ties with Pakistan.
“We believe that a robust trade relationship between the United States and Pakistan is more important than ever to bolster Pakistan’s economic stability as it recovers from devastating floods, while at the same time also providing opportunity to Americans and to American businesses in this country, exposing them to new markets — Pakistani markets in this case,” he said.
The US trade relationship with Pakistan has helped both Pakistani industries and consumers, he said, adding, “We have long been Pakistan’s largest export market, with potential for even further growth.”
The State Department spokesman said that his country believed that there was great potential to expand bilateral trade with Pakistan further, particularly in energy, agricultural equipment and products, franchising, retail trade, information and communications technology products and services.
America has been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past two decades, and in the past year the country’s investments have increased by some 50 percent, he maintained.
US investment in Pakistan is the highest it’s been in over a decade, and US corporations have announced more than $1.5 billion in investment plans in Pakistan since 2019, he said, adding, “US companies and their local affiliates, moreover, are among Pakistan’s largest employers, with roughly 80 US companies directly employing more than 120,000 Pakistanis.”
Price also spoke about the terror threat facing Pakistan. He said that the US engagement was rooted in the fact that terrorism is a threat that has taken many Pakistani, Afghan, other innocent lives over the course of far too many years now.
“The United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in ensuring the Taliban live up to the commitments that they have made, and that terrorist groups that may be active in Afghanistan — like Daesh, TTP, al-Qaida, are no longer able to threaten regional stability,” he asserted.