WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States and Libya on Thursday signed a pact to tackle trade and investment issues in their latest step to boost ties following Washingtons lifting of sanctions on the oil-rich nation. The trade and investment framework agreement was signed in Tripoli by officials of the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Libyan General Peoples Committee on Industry, Economy and Trade , a USTR statement said. The TIFA will provide a forum to address trade issues and will help build trade and investment relations between the US and Libya , it said. The pact mandates the formation of a joint US-Libya Council on Trade and Investment to address a wide range of trade and investment issues including market access, intellectual property, labor, and environmental issues. The council will also help to increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Libya , the statement said. US-Libya ties have been improving since Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in 2003 renounced the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and agreed to compensate families of the victims of the 1988 plane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. The lifting of US sanctions in 2004 paved the way for US oil companies to return to Libya after being absent since 1986.