DOC, NAM Applaud House Passage Of Oman Free Trade Agreement

DOC's Gutierrez says agreement will expand economic opportunity in Middle East; NAM's Engler says manufacturers will gain market share

Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says he's pleased with the House of Representative's 221-205 passage of the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement.

"The Oman FTA is a key part of the administration's efforts to open markets around the world and expand American opportunities in overseas markets," Gutierriez said. "The Oman FTA levels the playing field for U.S. farmers, ranchers, businesses and service providers, while strengthening the bonds of friendship in a strategically important part of the world.

"We need to expand economic opportunity in the Middle East and this FTA does that. The Senate approved the FTA last month and I look forward to the implementing legislation being signed by the President and the FTA going into force soon."

National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler, meanwhile, hailed the passage as another stepping stone toward creating a U.S-Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) in the coming years. 

“We are very pleased that the House of Representatives voted in a bipartisan manner to approve the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act,” said Engler, pointing out that the Senate passed the agreement on June 29th, 60-34.  “Once enacted, 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."

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