Old: U.S. -Oman FTA Promotes Freer Trade and America's Strategic Interests
Publication Date: July 2006
Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)
Keywords: Middle East
On June 29, the Senate ratified the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and after a contentious and partisan markup session, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the pact for a full House vote in July. The agreement is contentious because of the perception that Oman is only weakly committed to protecting workers' rights. Not only is this a misconception, but the very structure of the FTA would promote stronger labor standards and their enforcement. Rejecting the FTA on questionable labor concerns will undermine continued reform of Oman's economy and send a strong negative message about America's commitment to freeing trade and bolstering economic development in the Middle East. Further, a vote against the FTA would also send a clear message that the U.S. values Oman little as an ally.