USTR - Statement of U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab on Senate Passage of U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

Statement of U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab on Senate Passage of U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement
06/29/2006

"I applaud the strong, bipartisan Senate passage of 60 to 34 of the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement. The United States will gain much from this new economic partnership – the Agreement will create jobs and economic growth here at home and promote democracy, prosperity, and hope in the Middle East.

"On the first day this agreement goes into effect, 100 percent of consumer and industrial products will be duty free. This new trade opening will expand opportunities for exports of machinery, automobiles, optic and medical instruments and electrical machinery, and agricultural products such as vegetable oils, and sugars, sweeteners, and beverage bases. In addition, Oman will provide substantial market access across its entire services regime, provide a secure, predictable legal framework for U.S. investors operating in Oman, provide for effective enforcement of labor and environmental laws, and protect intellectual property.

"The free trade agreement with Oman is another major step forward in implementing the President’s initiative to create a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013, building on our existing agreements with Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain. We are also negotiating an FTA with the United Arab Emirates and have signed eight Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) with Middle East nations. Our efforts will advance economic growth and democracy in the Middle East – an area of almost 350 million people and a $70 billion trading relationship with the United States.

"We have been pleased to work closely with Members on both sides of the aisle to lay the foundation for our trade agenda, including the Oman FTA. I want to especially thank Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley and Finance Committee Ranking Chairman Max Baucus for their leadership. We now look forward to swift passage in the House."

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