The United States-Oman FTA, which entered into force on January 1, 2009, builds on existing FTAs to promote economic reform and openness. Implementation of the obligations contained in the comprehensive agreement will generate export opportunities for U.S. goods and services providers, solidify Oman’s trade and investment liberalization, and strengthen intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.
The first meeting of the FTA Joint Committee (JC), chaired jointly by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, took place in February 2010. Officials of the two governments discussed a broad range of trade issues, including implementation of Oman’s obligations under the labor and environment chapters and cooperative efforts in those areas.
In order to advance common goals under the Labor Chapter of the FTA, USTR led a mission to Oman in October 2009 to hold discussions on labor issues. During the visit, U.S. government officials from USTR and the Departments of Labor and State held meetings with Oman’s Ministry of Manpower as well as with representatives from labor and business groups and other government officials. The mission was successful in furthering a dialogue on key labor issues, and U.S. officials encouraged Oman to continue to implement labor reforms that were discussed as part of the FTA negotiation and implementation process.
As part of ongoing labor cooperation and capacity building activities, the U.S. Department of Labor is funding a project implemented by the International Labor Organization to increase the effectiveness of labor inspections by Oman’s Ministry of Manpower. During the next year, the two governments will schedule discussions between their respective experts on labor and environmental issues to ensure effective implementation monitoring and compliance with FTA obligations as well as cooperative efforts aimed at ensuring that trade and environmental goals are mutually supportive and sustainable.