Oman Trade Agreements

The U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on January 1, 2009, builds on existing free trade agreements to promote economic reforms and openness. Implementation of the commitments contained in the comprehensive agreement will create export opportunities for U.S. suppliers of goods and services, strengthen trade and investment liberalization in Oman, and strengthen protection and respect for intellectual property rights. Oman attaches great importance to standards, compliance assessment and quality in order to facilitate trade, economic and industrial development. As part of the GCC customs union, Oman is working to standardize its standards and compliance assessment systems with CCG by the GULF Standard Organization (GSO). Most oma standards are either GSO standards or those derived from another international standards body. In addition, the government is attempting to harmonize Grandmother and Golf Standards (CCPs) with international compliance standards under the WTO Principles on Technical Barriers to Trade (OBT) and Health and Plant Health Measures (SPS). However, at the time of the letter, not all GCC standards met the requirements of the SPS agreements and GCC member states were not consistently meeting their WTO notification obligations. On December 18, 2000, Oman accepted the TBT Code of Good Practice. Not all work rules are treated in the same way.

The free trade agreement between the United States and Oman establishes three basic labour obligations for partner countries: (1) ILO compliance obligations; (2) obligations to enforce their own labour standards; (3) and the obligation not to abstain from these standards in order to attract trade and investment. However, critics argue that only the second of these three obligations is enforceable by the dispute settlement procedures of the Oman Free Trade Agreement in the United States. This treatment, they argue, runs counter to the provisions of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, which make these three commitments enforceable through the dispute settlement process.28 100% of bilateral trade in industrial and consumer products are exempt from tariffs immediately after the agreement enters into force. In addition, Oman and the United States will provide immediate duty-free access to virtually all products in their tariff plans and will eliminate tariffs on remaining products within 10 years. The ESTV applies the “first-in-time, first-in-right” principle to trademarks and geographical indications, so that the first person acquiring a right to a trademark or geographical indication is the person who has the right to use it. Each government will be required to set transparent procedures for registering trademarks. On June 29, 2006, the U.S. Senate passed OFTA by 60-34 votes,[1] the fewest “aye” votes in the Senate on a trade bill other than the CAFTA. On 20 July 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the OFTA by 221 votes in, 205 against and 7 abstentions. [2] For procedural reasons, the Senate voted on 19 September 2006 by a second vote and the bill was passed by 62 votes to 32 and 6 abstentions. [3] Overall, the Senate approved Bill 63-37, since all senators voted either “aye” or “nay” in one of the two votes.

ImMai`s 2006 NLC report, U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement Descends into Human Trafficking and Unvoluntary Servitude, documents conditions in 28 separate factories in Jordan in foreign trade areas where clothing is manufactured by foreign and Jordanian workers, mainly for export to the United States. The report estimates that tens of thousands of foreign migrant workers who were ready to enter service were then deprived of their passports and imprisoned in involuntary servitudes, where they sewed clothes in factories for companies such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Gloria Vanderbilt, Target, Kohl`s, J.C.