The parties are working to create a favourable climate for promoting trade between them: the United States and ASEAN concluded the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Agreement (TIFA) in 2006 and have been working ever since to establish trade and investment relations between the United States and ASEAN and to promote ASEAN`s regional economic integration. The United States intensified its TIFA work in 2009 and has submitted a number of ambitious proposals from senior NA officials that will be followed as part of THE TIFA work plan. These initiatives aim to achieve concrete results in a wide range of areas, including trade facilitation, logistics, the digital economy, trade finance, trade and the environment. The ten ASEAN countries together make up the United States` fourth largest export market and its fifth largest trading partner. ASEAN countries include Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. U.S. trade with ASEAN continues to grow, with trade in two goods growing at $177 billion in 2008. With strong economies and a total population of about 550 million, the ten ASEAN market member states offer significant potential opportunities for U.S. companies. The parties encourage the exchange of visits by representatives, delegations and economic, trade and technical missions between them and the organization of temporary exhibitions and provide the necessary facilities and assistance to promote economic cooperation. The United States signed a framework trade and investment agreement with the United Arab Emirates in 2004 to create a formal framework for dialogue on economic reforms and trade liberalization. TIFA encourages the creation of legal protection for investors, improved protection of intellectual property rights, more transparent and effective customs procedures, and greater transparency of government and trade rules.
Through this process, the U.S. government can identify potential partners for continued trade cooperation, such as free trade agreements (FAs). The United Arab Emirates also signs the World Trade Organization(WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a treaty that binds 78 countries (which account for 97% of world trade in computer products), which aims to eliminate tariffs on computer products.