The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) applauded the recent signing of the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement, which will eliminate tariffs on US equipment exports to Oman. AEM also encouraged Congress to quickly approve the agreement and speed its implementation.

The Oman FTA is the fourth in a series of free trade agreements which the Bush Administration plans to use as the basis for a Middle East Free Trade Area to be completed by 2013. To date, the US has completed agreements with Jordan, Israel and Bahrain, and negotiations are ongoing with the United Arab Emirates.

AEM is a member of the steering committee of the Middle East Free Trade Area Coalition, which actively supports the proposed Middle East Free Trade Area. The US-Oman Free Trade Agreement would eliminate for US manufacturers the 5% tariff that Oman imposes on imports of heavy equipment. This would not only reduce costs for Omani consumers, but it would also give US-based manufacturers an advantage over competitors in Europe and Asia.

Despite its relatively small size (similar to Utah), Oman has imported approximately $40 million of US-manufactured equipment in the last five years. Its largest imports are in the “trade code” categories comprising machinery and motor vehicles.

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