Council Urges House Ways and Means Committee to Follow Suit with Swift Action
Washington, DC — The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today released a statement applauding members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for a favorable vote on S.3569, the “U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.”
“We commend the leadership of Chairman Grassley and Senator Baucus in recognizing the overarching fact that the US-Oman FTA is good for American workers and business and supports such a critical ally in the Middle East,” said Bill Reinsch, president of NFTC. “We call upon House Ways and Means Committee members to put aside partisan differences to support this important agreement.”
The U.S.-Oman FTA will help advance market-oriented economic reforms and will help to demonstrate to other Middle Eastern nations the important benefits of trade liberalization. Two-way trade between the U.S. and Oman reached $1.2 billion during 2005 with $593 million of this coming from U.S. exports. The U.S.-Oman agreement includes provisions for all industrial and consumer products to become duty-free.
For U.S. exporters, the agreement has the potential to expand trade opportunities across a broad range of industries from transportation, oil and gas equipment, to environmental technology and medical equipment. The FTA will increase the competitiveness of U.S. service providers and create a more secure and predictable investment climate.
“In addition to helping expand U.S business opportunities with Oman, approval of the FTA will send an important signal to the Middle East that the United States is committed to working with its allies to develop mutually beneficial economic agreements,” said Reinsch. “Today’s vote is also an important step towards the President’s goal of creating a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013,” concluded Reinsch.
In late 2004, the U.S. Trade Representative announced the start of negotiations with Oman, as part of the Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative. The United States has recently signed an FTA with Bahrain and additional Middle East Free Trade Area agreements are in place between the United States and Israel, Jordan and Morocco.
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.