It was the NAM that was chosen, on behalf of its members, to lead the private-sector push for the U.S.-Oman FTA, a sign of the confidence congressional leaders place in the NAM when it comes to support for passing important pro-growth legislation.

Final passage of this agreement will help strengthen the already strong ties that exist between the United States and Oman, a vital ally in the Middle East, and demonstrate our nation’s continued commitment to opening markets around the world. It would also mark an important step toward implementing the Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA), which, when taken as a whole, would form one of our top 10 export markets.

The NAM supported this FTA because of the obvious benefits for all of our members:

- All American-made consumer and industrial products would 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.

- Oman would further its commitment to liberalized trade, regulatory transparency and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

- And, significantly, 94 percent of the U.S. manufactured goods trade deficit arises from countries with which we have no bilateral free trade agreements. Oman will be a U.S. trading partner, which is good news for the economy as a whole.

The NAM salutes lawmakers who supported the FTA. The hard work now focuses in the Senate and convincing lawmakers there to back similar legislation.