SINGAPORE and the United States on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to continually improve the bilateral trade agreement, and ensure that its remains relevant to both countries.

This came during the 6th annual review of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) on Thursday, which was co-chaired by Ms Koh Lin-Net, Deputy Secretary (Trade) of the Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Assistant US Trade Representative Ms Barbara Weisel.

Discussions covered a wide range of issues including market access for goods and the regulation of services. In addition, both parties took stock of the collaborative efforts made in advancing environmental cooperation and strengthening intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement, said a statement from MTI on Friday.

Officials on both sides welcomed the positive impact of the FTA on trade and investment in both directions.

Since 2004 when the FTA came into force, bilateral trade has grown by almost 20 per cent to reach S$86.3 billion in 2008. While the economic crisis reduced trade flows in 2009 to S$66.9 billion, bilateral trade has since increased 20.2 per cnet year-on-year in the first eight months of this year to reach S$51.5 billion.

Bilateral investments have also recorded a significant increase. US investments in Singapore totalled S$51.8 billion as at end 2008, a 39.2% increase from end 2003.

Besides the FTA, Singapore is working closely with the US on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which is currently negotiated by several countries in the Asia Pacific.

The TPP is envisioned to be a high-standard agreement which will promote regional integration and meet the needs of modern businesses.

S'pore, US reaffirm FTA