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Oman FTA Gains Congressional Approval

As the U.S. and several other countries -- along with Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization -- this week work to salvage the Doha Round trade liberalization talks, two major business organizations are applauding U.S. approval last week of a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the Middle Eastern nation of Oman.

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly backed the FTA on a 221 to 205 vote on July 20. The Senate had previously passed the agreement 60 to 34.

Once the pact is implemented, "all American-made consumer and industrial products will enter Oman duty-free, gaining even greater market share for U.S. manufacturers, who exported nearly $600 million worth of goods to Oman in 2005," noted John Engler, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Manufacturers.

"Not only does [the agreement] create incentives to deepen trade and investment with a dynamic region, it advances U.S. national security goals in the Middle East," said Daniel W. Christman, senior vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

TAGS: Trade
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