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United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement

Each government is required to effectively enforce its own environmental legislation. This is the only environmental provision that can be imposed by the dispute resolution process of the agreement and, as with labour rules, the maximum fine is limited to $15 million per violation per year. The free trade agreement with Oman is similar to other ales mefta and consists of three fundamental components: new customs plans, comprehensive market-opening commitments and provisions to support them, as well as the protection of labour and the environment. It allows almost all consumer goods and industry immediate duty-free access, with specific provisions for agriculture, textiles and clothing. 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. With regard to the fight against terrorism with trade, the United States negotiated and the President signed the fifth bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) of the United States on 19 January 2006 in the proposal for 20 Free Trade Units in the Middle East (MEFTA). This free trade agreement is with Oman. Other U.S.

free trade agreements include Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain. A sixth is being negotiated with the United Arab Emirates. Oman is a small U.S. oil exporting trading partner that has supported U.S. policy in the Middle East and is strategically located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Given that its oil reserves could be depleted within 15-20 years, Oman is trying to liberalize and diversify its trade regime beyond oil and gas in order to provide economic opportunities for its rapidly growing workforce. Proponents of the agreement generally cite political and economic reasons. Opponents generally refer to labour and human rights issues. Question #35: Can unsealed goods benefit from the MPF exemption when the special “bra” program indicator is not mentioned in the “Special” column of the HTSUS? Pre-registration was made on October 17, 2005, three days after the end of the negotiations.

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