Agreement Expected to Expand Trade Relations with Key Ally in Middle East
Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today praised the United States and Omani governments for their diligent work to conclude the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The President’s signature, which came this afternoon, marked the final approval needed to enact the U.S. legislation implementing this agreement. The ratification comes on the heels of commendable support from Congress and the Omani government.
“We are very pleased with the efforts of the President, Congress, and the Omani government in concluding the FTA,” said Bill Reinsch, president of NFTC. “The agreement is an important milestone in the United States’ mission to establish strong economic ties with countries in the Middle East. The support this bill garnered is an example to those at home and abroad of the importance this region holds for the United States.”
The U.S.-Oman FTA, which has been under negotiation since November 2004, marks the fifth Middle Eastern FTA to be established with the United States. As enacted, the agreement will establish duty-free trade for all consumer and industrial products and 87 percent of agricultural tariff lines. These provisions will strengthen an already robust trade climate between the U.S. and Oman.
“The passage of this bill signifies the beginning of greater economic and political cooperation between the United States and Oman,” said Reinsch. “This FTA is a key stepping stone towards the President’s goal to create a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013,” concluded Reinsch.
The FTA will expand trade with Oman in a number of different industries and service sectors, including the healthcare, transportation, engineering, water and environmental technology and agricultural industries. Trade between the U.S. and Oman reached $1.2 billion in 2005. That figure is expected to increase significantly in the coming years as a result of the FTA.
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